Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes.
~ Clarice Lispector
Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.
~ Eckhart Tolle
I know what I really want for Christmas.
I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of our hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.
~ Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Spending time with the ones who are dear to you is like being in a dream, is it not?
~ Sakura Tsukuba, Land of the Blindfolded, Vol. 3
I’m sitting in the basement of what used to be my home. I have thoughts about going home again; what it means, and maybe more importantly, what it doesn’t mean. I’m not sure I have time or words to explore those thoughts now. I’ll write, and maybe something will weave its way into my words.
The Christmas tree lights are twinkling. Martin (youngest son) and Mere have a beautiful tree. It’s a Norway spruce. M and I planted three Norway spruces on the property here in the Bogs when we first moved in. They were little trees when we planted them. They have grown and grown, and look almost like giants now.
Bo the Dog and Denver the Cat are cuddled up on their bed, taking a winter’s nap. It is difficult to tell them apart, one black furred animal blending into the other black furred animal. They are ridiculously cute. Poor Denver went through a bad illness a few months ago, and had to be brought back to life a couple of times. He looks well now, but he’s not as friendly as he used to be. The vet thinks part of the problem was being at the vet’s, as if it scared him to death.
The Christmas gifts were exchanged and opened on Saturday when our entire little family was gathered here in this basement, around this tree. Mere did a fantastic job of hosting Christmas, and I love the way she decorated the basement. It’s a very light and festive atmosphere, a lot like Mere herself. You might not think light and festive is possible in a basement space, but this space is wide open with large windows and a door that opens out to the backyard where you can walk down the hill to the pond. Mere made it brighter by painting and decorating with bright colors. The look and feel are much different than how it used to be. I like it. I especially like that it is different, that the entire house has a different look and feel to it.
Being with my sons, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters was The Best Christmas Present Ever. My heart expanded and expanded and expanded with love. It amazes me, sometimes, how infinite love can be.
I took pictures, of course. Not a lot, and mostly towards the end of the visit with our granddaughters. We sat in front of the upstairs fireplace in various combinations, trying to fit everyone in. I even handed over the camera so I could be in one of the combinations. I’ll upload them and look at them another day. Right now I prefer to savor the images — what we call memories — in my mind.
M and I will be leaving here soon to join his family (who are, of course, my family, too) for a Christmas feast. Then we’ll go home. Home is on the Eastern Shore, not in the Bogs. I feel that now and, to be honest, it’s a good feeling. I believe I was hanging in limbo there for a while, homesick for the Bogs while trying to nest or settle in at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. During my last visit to Breezy Acres, I no longer felt I was home, and my spirit seemed to hover between Breezy Acres and the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, neither here nor there. It was not a comfortable place to be.
It’s time for me to put this away, and get ready to leave. I’ll be back to regular blogging soon. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Wishing you peace, joy, loads of love, and the warmth and comfort of feeling at home, no matter where home happens to be.
A LETTER TO SU TUNG-P’O
Almost a thousand years later
I am asking the same questions
you did the ones you kept finding
yourself returning to as though
nothing had changed except the tone
of their echo growing deeper
and what you knew of the coming
of age before you had grown old
I do not know any more now
than you did then about what you
were asking as I sit at night
above the hushed valley thinking
of you on your river that one
bright sheet of moonlight in the dream
of the waterbirds and I hear
the silence after your questions
how old are the questions tonight
– W. S. Merwin
Shall we liken Christmas to the web in a loom? There are many weavers, who work into the pattern the experience of their lives. When one generation goes, another comes to take up the weft where it has been dropped. The pattern changes as the mind changes, yet never begins quite anew. At first, we are not sure that we discern the pattern, but at last we see that, unknown to the weavers themselves, something has taken shape before our eyes, and that they have made something very beautiful, something which compels our understanding.
~ Earl W. Count, 4,000 Years of Christmas