Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas Past

It's hard to believe that the Lake looked like this yesterday morning, January 12. That makes winter seem far gone.
Most of us have put Christmas away or are reluctantly still putting it away. We seem to have a natural instinct, aside from religious convictions, that makes us want to light up these darkest days of winter and push back the night. Now as the days grow longer we can let nature itself bring on the light.

I had a lot fewer Christmas decorations this year than usual because of some work being done in the house. I thought it might make my celebration of Christmas less enjoyable. As I look back on these past few weeks, however, it was the richest Christmas I can remember. Prayerfully and spiritually rich. It didn't have to do with the fewer Christmas decorations. It was just that I took more time just to be still, to sit down and recollect myself. The growing awareness of the Divine in me and in my life brings the peace that Christmas promises.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dawn Ice

"Out of God's deepest mercy

a dawn will come from on high,

light for those shadowed by death,

a guide for our feet on the way to peace."

Luke 1:78-79

These verses are the end of Zechariah's hymn after naming his son, John the Baptist. I prayed them right after I took this picture this morning. The sun was not up yet but I noticed that the sky was turning red and pink in the east. When I looked back at the Lake the newly frozen ice and the clouds in the northwest were catching some of the color. Not twelve drummers drumming, but a much more splendid gift on this 12th Day of Christmas.

Friday, January 4, 2008

11th Day of Christmas

It is so good to have these Twelve Days of Christmas to savor the mystery of God's coming to live as one of us. It was brilliant of the early Christians to settle on this darkest time of the year to celebrate the birth of Christ. The early twilight and the snow coax me to be still and reflective.

Judy Collins sings a song "The Fallow Time" about nature's need to have a season that is not productive in which the earth can rest. It is our need as well. This fallow time teaches me that being is more important than doing.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

9th Day of Christmas

I continue to savor Christmas. Lights and carols. New snow helps to prolong Christmas.

The last day of the year I took about an hour to look back over the year. I made a list of "bad stuff" and "good stuff." Though there were some pretty bad things the good list far outweighed the bad. That's not always the case but it was last year and I am grateful. God was clearly at work in some of the stuff.

I noticed that some of the best stuff was accompanied by bad stuff. Two visits to my sister in Hawaii were among the best. Traveling there and back included some of the bad. I confused plane tickets, lost two pairs of glasses, nearly ran out of money in San Francisco. I was reminded that I must learn to concentrate better if I am going to travel alone.