Taking liberties with Dickens’ classic Christmas Carol, I would like to introduce you to a fourth spirit. Many cannot see her through the thick veil of holiday behaviors and habits that our culture has created, that in time have separated us from seasonal meaning. This spirit is hidden by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shopping and winter weather driving obsession. Lift the veil and you will see her perpetual generous smile, ready to welcome all into her loving arms. She will be grateful to see you! Her name is Nature.
She is ever-present in the sparkle of the ice in the freezing rain, peacefulness of the falling snow and infinite crystal patterns on our window panes. She uses her power to slow down our commutes, not to inconvenience us, but to call enough of our attention to admire her beauty, exercise our patience or put on some relaxing music and enjoy the ride. There is opportunity there to offer needed reflection for ourselves and extend courtesy to fellow drivers. In the grand scheme of things, how important is it really to rush to the store to get that last minute present, when you can always give and receive the gift of kindness.
Nature is the provider of the light. As we head into the holiday season full speed ahead, she does her best to rock us to sleep dimming that, encouraging us to rest. We unintentionally resist, not even noticing while we are spinning in the hustle and bustle. And then she works her magic, easing us gently back into the light with her solstice, a gradual transition from dormancy that happens while we’re complaining about the dark days. It is counterproductive for us not to pay attention to all of these miracles. The term “holiday stress” is a recent one and did not exist when Jesus was born or before when humans knew to be guided by Nature.
You need only to unplug, step (or look) outside, inhale and exhale deeply to summon her, and she, like her cousins Past, Present and Future will give you a guided tour of her treasures. It doesn’t matter what climate you live in; she doesn’t discriminate. She displays the moon, stars and sun to all. Some get the snow with its animal tracks, some get footprints in the sand. Some get the sound of seabirds and surf, others the howling wind. All get her wonders. Everyone gets a reminder of simplicity and a break from the patterns we have created to deviate us away from her. It’s a pleasant return to where we have come from. There’s no place like home for the holidays.
May you all be visited by her this and every season, and wake up feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning.
Love to All!