Monday, December 20, 2010

In The Depth of Winter, I found within me an invincible summer - Albert Camus

As we approach the dawning of Solstice, of Christmas, of a new year, it seems the celestial light show shines ever brighter in the darkness. Here in Ireland we have the crispest nights with freezing zub zero temperatures. The most splendiferous exhibition sits above as I write, I know its up there.

Me and M, danced in the moonlight this evening as we returned from my Dads, having sadly said goodbye to my sister and her family who are returning to Sweden for the holidays.

I could see the reason for Madeleine's enthusiasm though, as we came into the garden, the moon shone right towards us, inviting us onto a sparkling lawn to play. I danced a little, but mostly watched the joy, in a swirling star child.

Given half a chance she is so fully happy, so fully alive. Half a chance, thats all she needs. And if she doesn't get it, how quickly she can find it.

In all this light talk it feels an excellent time to think of the darkness. After all, in just two days, the shortest day makes way for another year for us earth folks. How reassuring is that? Will we be glad of another year of free light: )
I remember distinctly the day I realized I am not 'doing time' anymore. Years, days, they could be one or none, it had become all the same to me. Somewhere between grief and joy, some subtle presence was becoming tangible suddenly in the realization that my sadness, my loss, was not a penance nor a sentence. A suffering yes, but a part of a life being lived and experienced fully. And, to fully experience this mysterious adventure, I was going to have to brace myself and get stuck into that suffering.

I have some good friends and guides and even tools with which to do that, Eft( emotional freedom techniques) being one, but my greatest help has been my heart. This big beating heart is showing me the way through the dark and the light.
It tells me now to open my heart to the possibility that Christmas is full of peace and thankfulness. Full of remembrance and not missing. That in the presence of Christmas is not dissatisfaction but richness. As I remember those I love, who are not here to see the sun rise, I can be glad of the knowing of them, and sad in their departure. Either is fine and neither wrong.

One is always free who stops to listen to the wild winds
One is always free who stands to feel rain knowing it will stop again
One is always free who opens the door when the sun shines in
 and keeps knocking on the door they cant get in. 

I read a wonderful article a few years ago by a writer called Jeannette Winterson. I love her writing. I am always sure to like it. She wrote that we were starved of darkness, not in her words now, as its been a while since I read it, but she more or less proposed that we were polluted by light. I loved it, the last thing you would think of really. But the darkness is so essential to being. Where would we be at all without the sunset, shadow, that blanket of rich velvet that coats us and allows us to rest. We must allow ourselves to close our eyes and let go so we can wake up again.

Winterson suggested that we, once a month turned off all electricity and allowed the darkness of an evening to creep in. Or is it settle in that it does? Settle around us and simply let the night be night.

I used to be afraid of the dark, and I still am in some ways. I don't like the garden shed on a particularly dark night. But I will happily close my eyes now and look into the deepest depths of myself even with the light off. Into every nook and cranny of myself I go. Because whenever I have and whenever I have been afraid of going in and allowed myself the opportunity to befriend that fear, I have found the brightest parts of myself I had not known, and therein was joy.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious - C. G. Jung

Here in the middle of winter is this bright day. In the darkness there is light, Always.
Christmas is coming, the turn, the cusp, the edge, There is always more.

Do you know how many world religions all have the birth day of their prophet or leader on or around the Solstice/ Christmas? Its possible I imagine, that all religion has come from or been influenced by previous religions and come from something else before that, something perhaps less definable. What if it all began with some clear and universal truth, that this might be a very appropriate time to be very grateful for the sun that helps us all to be here and to remember most reverently the beautiful mysterious that some may call god, or the origin of being, or even light where life abounds. 

Time to be brave again and take another year I think. Be brave and enjoy it well.

To Celebrate; Christmas decorations here in our home

My tree is a live tree in a tub, a wonderful idea I think! My tree lives all year round at the home of Wandering Gardens  where it can be home and shelter to wildlife through the year. By having the same tree you are saving on masses of carbon from imported Christmas trees or just repeatedly buying a cut tree. This is the same tree we had last year, and was delivered to our door and will be picked up for us with its little tag with our name on it for next year. Madeleine has called it Lucy. And Lucy is allowed to mature and do her great job of cleansing the air as well as being our Christmas tree.

My needle felted santa is staying home with us for Christmas.
Madeleine and I made this decoration. Its a little hard to see, but is a banner that reads, REJOICE. She has made the paintings in between each letter, they are Christmas trees, stars and boys and girls.

Our growing crib.
Last year I made Mary and Joseph by needle felting. I was listening to a lot of music of Devendra Banhart  which may subconsciously have influenced Joseph's apearence; ) I intend to make figures each year to add to it. We put jesus in the crib on Christmas eve and add some more animals and other figures from Madeleine's playing. Its a lovely central point to our home at this time, and a story that Madeleine' really loves. Through her Steiner Waldorf schooling with its emphasis on Advent, this wonderful story has grown on me again too.

Its time now for snowglobes, Christmas trees, baking with cinnamon, cleaning house, frankincense and cards to make ( still not sent)  and to finish two crowns and two hats. I have been custom making lots of things, making them to suit a little character or a favorite color. Its been fun though my posture has taken on that of a crocheting grandmother, and I may finish up soon before I become a part of the arm chair in my living room . Its time for Madeleine too and her dreamy thoughts of Santa Claus coming with his generous spirit, and christmas fairies with their magic and happy surprises.

Happy Christmas dear Reader 
With lots of love xxx

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