December 2011


On the Eve
came the Christmas promise:
“Love.
Peace.
Let it Come.”

We have entered the Christmas season:
twelve days of receiving…

On the Sixth Day of Christmas
we received
sunshine.
And we watched
the kilowatt hours of energy
add up
that the solar panels on our two houses
collected!
This week our 14 solar panels
were connected to the grid
and we can go online
and watch them work.
Since they were hooked up
two and a half days ago,
they have created
28.8 kilowatt hours
of electricity!
In two days,
the panels created enough energy
to power 73 light bulbs for one day,
and, best gift of all,
saved 39 pounds of carbon!
We’re looking forward to the day
when we have saved
the equivalent of a tree.
Happy, happy Christmas
to creation!

On the Eve
came the Christmas promise:
“Love.
Peace.
Let it Come.”

We have entered the Christmas season:
twelve days of receiving…

On the Fifth Day of Christmas
we received
friends.
A long-time friend
from college days.
A long-time friend
from hospital chaplaincy days.
Boys, now young men
who grew up with Will;
who’ve shared their entire lives
together.
An afternoon walk in the labyrinth,
visiting and cooking in the kitchen,
telling those hilarious stories
of youth’s harmless pranks
around a candelit dinner;
cheering the home team
in a last-second victory;
a moonlit walk around the big pond
in awe of the stars of the ages.
Christmas doesn’t get better
than this.

On the Eve
came the Christmas promise:
“Love.
Peace.
Let it Come.”

We have entered the Christmas season:
twelve days of receiving…

The Fourth Day of Christmas
we stood with friends
at a funeral
as they remembered,
reflected,
made sense,
grieved,
laughed,
comforted,
connected again.
We received the soul-soaring beauty
of an unexpected Christmas concert
as prelude;
the stunning, in-your-face brightness
of the late afternoon sun
as finale.
All day, we stood in the safe space
that we know within,
that we know on the earth.
And as we drove east,
towards home,
clouds streamed blue and gray in the north,
as the sun turned clouds in the west
orange-pink.
When day was done
we stepped into the crystal cold air
and wept gratitude into the starlit sky,
still black, because the moon
is new.

On the Eve
came the Christmas promise:
“Love.
Peace.
Let it Come.”

We have entered the Christmas season:
twelve days of receiving…

The Third Day of Christmas
we were called away
from the farm,
to be with friends
who had lost a loved one
Christmas Eve;
to hear the story
of a loving life,
a peace-making life—
given wholeheartedly—
and to tell that story
in celebration of that life.
Isn’t Christmas
astonishing?

 

On the Eve
came the Christmas promise:
“Love.
Peace.
Let it Come.”

We have entered the Christmas season:
twelve days of receiving.
Day One, Christmas Day,
visit from an uncle
and some of the young ones
Will grew up with.
We offered a little banana cake
and cheesecake;
they brought warm memories.
Together,
we renewed our bonds of family
and friendship.
Day Two,
some quiet time
with a sister-in-law
and Will
watching the birds at the feeders
(a Chickadee!)
and the alpacas, cats and goats
at play (we think.)
Telling stories
and making plans.
We renewed our delight in
and need for
each other.
Day Three on the morrow…

 

Perhaps one of the reasons
we get lost in all the hoopla
of Christmas
rather than quietly reflect
on what it means
to each of us
and all of us
this particular year
is because
it’s too big,
so simple,
it’s hard to grasp
and because thinking about it
at all
requires us to look at ourselves
and the need we have
that Christmas addresses.
It’s easier to get exhausted,
over-extended,
over-indulged
and/or,
depressed.
I had a few moments alone
this morning
after the gifts were wrapped,
the house decorated.
New votives waited in the windows.
Tree lights were ready
to be plugged in.
There will, finally,
be golden light.
Festive food ingredients were gathered.
Family and friends’ arrival time
established.
Preparations at church
completed.
And so I looked out on a frosty,
sunny, still prairie
which I would soon step into
to break ice,
feed animals,
and as I watched the birds,
I took a moment to ask
that place deep inside me
where Love and Truth and Beauty co-exist:
What gift, Christmas,
this year?

All lay still
(except the birds,
and a very fluffy gray cat.)
The cattle across the road
stood and lay unmoving
in the sun,
as if frozen.
All lay silent
(except the birds.)
Expectancy.
Peace.
Love.
“Let it come.”

First winter morning
and we had snow.
Snowed most of the day yesterday,
a heavy dose of small flakes
blowing horizontally from the north
frosting everything
without covering anything.
Beautiful and sparkling
in the sunlight this morning.

I took the opportunity to hang clothes
out on the line on the north porch
this morning.
Will, home from southern California,
stepped out to ask if the clothes would freeze.
It’s possible, some days.
And indeed, there will still be snow
on the shaded northern ground
beneath the clothes at twilight.
But we’re hoping with slight warming
and a gentle breeze,
they’ll be dry.
Cold, but dry.

Hello Winter.

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