Remembrances and Musings
Ah, it’s the season to be…What a mix of excitement, connection, pressure, stress, memories and exhaustion the Holiday Season brings.
For the affluent Christian child, it's all wonder and fun. There's the magic of Baby Jesus appearing in the manger, with its sweet-smelling straw (but wouldn't it be prickly?) There are cookies and presents, pretty clothes and feasts in warm dining rooms complete with doting relatives and admonitions about good manners.
For adults, especially women, it means one more cinderblock piled on to your back: gifts to decide about and purchase, cleaning, decorating, entertaining and cooking. Smiling pleasantly in the hastily thrown on Christmas earrings, keeping the magic alive for others.
As one ages, poignant reminders of past holidays abound.
This year the excited little boy who hopped from one foot to the other beside me while waiting to be allowed to see the Christmas tree and Santa's bounty, is long in heaven due to a mid-life accident.
Now the treasured forks and goblets are serving people with no memory of the great grandparents who were their prior owners.
Grandchildren are getting over their interest in Nana's one-eyed teddy bear, her first, who comes out of his hiding place only for holidays.
As friends lie ill and others die, one reaches a new level of understanding, and even joy.
The value of a hug, as a shared meal is magnified. A beautiful sunset or a walk with a friend has value. Stuff is just stuff.
When we're young, collecting things and babies and credentials, we sometimes forget that it's all temporary. When we're older, we deaccession the stuff and watch fondly, attempting to keep quiet, as our babies raise their babies.
This is all okay, yet better than okay. It's what's so – and what's supposed to be.
Once one really gets that one is very loosely and briefly connected to a spinning orb, one can really let go and have some fun.
There's nothing to fear and nothing to lose. There are hugs and kisses; crisp starry nights and twinkling lights, and warm comfort food. It's all just now. That's all.
It might be a good time to lie on the rug and see how things look from upside down – even if it does take 15 minutes to get up. Or say hello to a grumpy stranger. Or admire a small child in his stroller. Or spin around (carefully, of course) on the sidewalk and laugh to yourself about the joy of breathing.
All is well. Happy Holidays – and many more.