The night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring…well that’s not completely true. All of the kids are together and stirring quite a bit. The jokes are relentless. And, it is snowing. If I try not to focus on our country’s present leadership all the time and focus instead on family even just for a few days, I am less grumpy and helpless. One of the great things about this time of year is to experience through the eyes of the little ones, the magic of Christmas. The root meaning of the word “nostalgia” is “pain. Remembering things as they were in the “good old days” as being much better than they are now, can be painful. However, getting caught up in the wonder my granddaughter feels these festive days mollifies the pain of the times gone by and opens up a bright future. The best I can say of my childhood experiences of this time of year was that it was different and good. Now a third generation is bubbling with the excitement of the season and only a cynical person could separate themselves from it and not be infected. Just when you think the “good times” are over and done with, boom, they are beginning, anew. The impossible is made possible all over again. From this morning’s reading:
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:37-38)
Last night the family traveled to the Oregon Zoo for the annual “Zoo Lights.” It was frigid, my fingers were frozen and the place was packed with all sorts of people. If there were animals, I didn’t see any. Just to keep me from thinking about the weather I would periodically glance over at my granddaughter and all my troubles melted away with her show of enthusiasm. On our way to the indoor (and heated) elephant paddock, she caught sight of Snow White and immediately wanted to have a picture with her. Disney still rules apparently even at a zoo.
Life continues and, again I am blessed to be reminded that no matter how crappy life is sometimes or how elusive good days are, I can be pulled back into the wonderful world of great possibilities. I only need to take time to see the world, again and again through a child’s eyes. It is wonder. It is possible.
…and so it goes…