Remembering the Peace of Advent

One of the hard truths about this time of year is that we are forced to confront what we may have missed, or have lost. For some of us, those of us who are very privileged, the holidays have been sweet, families have been united and traditions have traveled between the generations. But even those people have lost beloved family members who are no longer there.

It takes a while to recalibrate. It takes a while to decide to focus not on what i don’t have but on what is there. It’s important for me to honor the heart of the holidays, both religiously and communally. But it’s also time to cut out the pieces of the holiday that no longer fit.

I love to think of the root of the word remembering … to re-member, to piece back together. To take the remnants of the good and to make something beautiful from it.

It takes a while to demand (of yourself) the space to celebrate holidays in your image in a fashion that suits you. But you are worthy of that. If you’re alone, find other people who also are. Or celebrate another holiday and make that yours until you can reclaim your own for yourself.

Remember the holidays… Feel free, not to long for what you once believe you had, but to create that which celebrates the deepest possibilities of life. Savor the Dark. Explore the Mystery. Be amazed by the Wonder. Gather with those who love you as you are — even if that means you’re alone and loving yourself fiercely.

Allow your holidays to be filled with Peace. Share that with others. Remember. Make that cloak of beautiful memories and move forward with joy. Peace be with you. Peace be with us all.

Alternative Advent December 12 – 15¢ if you have dishes in your house. There are actually people in our Susquehanna Valley who do not. So be generous. if you have more than one set, try 15¢ per set.

ColdMoonLunacyDec12

 

 

 

Cherishing Advent Peace

Here at a time in my life when so much of my family has died, I have had to make decisions about what and when I cherish. What do I bring forward from that life with them? What do I call out from my time in California? How do I incorporate the people in this life whom I’ve come to love and their celebrations? And how do I leave myself room to “mind the gaps,” to drift away from what is still too painful to touch?

This is some of Advent’s important work I think.

Many of us, for reasons far sadder than death, don’t have the family they want. So how do you celebrate and cherish the family you do have? How do you make holidays that matter with who you are and what you have.

The Dark is a precious gift and so are the holidays that come with it. And there are so many. Can’t do the one you were born with? Can you do it differently, or make a home in another one?

And can we all acknowledge our responsibility to cherish life? This is a time of new beginnings, celebrations of tiny scraps of God among us and light returning. Can we sing sleep in heavenly Peace in December and mean it in January? Can we light candles and remember the past and look forward to the future and providing defiant light to the world?

We’re the people to do that! We’re the people to cherish our own traditions and to invite people over to share the festival foods. We’re the people to become curious about others’ feasts and fests and learn about what makes us different and celebrate the urge to come together to with our families and communities to make new memories.

We’re the people to create Peace. We’re the people to cherish it. May it be so.

Alternative Advent today is 10¢ for every flush toilet. That should be a dollar! These are precious!

LongNightMoonLunacyDec10

Thanksgiving Peace Again

So many things for which to give thanks.

So many things to remember. And yesterday, we made new memories.

It’s a great holiday, isn’t it, Really just created for the opportunity to build more memories. There are new members of the family to braid in. Such sacred work.

As a kid, you’re at the mercy of the family… and hopefully for everyone that’s a lot of mercy. But later, it’s a chance for you to construct love as you want to see it.

Yesterday we laid a great framework for family… I feel so blessed.

I hope you feel that way too.

Peace be with you all, my friends. Peace. I hope you enjoyed the holiday and the full moon as much as I did.

LongNightMoonNov27

 

The Peace of Beloved Festival Foods

For most of us, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays filled with food and family.

For those without either, let us be generous in opening our hearts and our wallets and cupboards. If we’re going to be thankful, it’s good to be so actively — and there is so much need. Thanksgiving requires great thanksgiving. Some of us are so lucky. I’m humbled by the life I lead. Blessing counting is an important part of this day.

But let us also enjoy — unabashedly… and make plans to revel in the fun.

And the food. Ah, festival foods are the best. Everyone has a favorite food associated with Thanksgiving. We were all stunned when niece Jan chose stuffing as the one food she never had to eat (her brother chose broccoli, which I like, but stuffing, that great gravy conveyance?). The rest of us we all about passing the bowl around one more time.

But for some it’s the yams, for others the turkey itself.

And for me, right up there alongside the stuffing is any kind of cranberry!

I once hosted a thanksgiving feast with 8 different kinds of cranberry sauce. Oh, i was happy!

Today it’s Monday. In three sleeps, it will be Thanksgiving. Turkey. Cranberry. Stuffing.

And a lovely, lovely wedding to perform. Yep. I’m looking forward. (and i get to miss the football part, which I know is other people’s favorite piece.)

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with thanksgiving.

LongNightMoonLunacyNov23

The Ties that Bind Us to Peace

I was caught off guard. It’s not that I don’t miss them all individually. And sometimes I miss the family. I know a lot of people who know that I lost them. But I don’t know many people who knew us together.

But when El walked in, and I’ve not seen her since Deb died, it opened floodgates that had obviously been lurking.

I was home. I was safe. And there were memories here to pull out and sort through. I had a long drive to do that very thing. It was very sweet. It was very sad. But I not only got to see my very dear friends, I got little snippets of my family back when I least expected it.

Love is so very sweet, even when it’s sad… even when it’s hard. Our work is to find the Peace in Love.

LongNightMoonLunacyNov16