The Gift of You, Beyond Seasons


IMG_1993 (1).jpgAre you ready for the new season?  Seems I never am.  I’m aching over all the fall beauties, yet everywhere I look,  inflatable snow men, candy canes, wreaths so red and green abound.  That’s all good.  I’m just not done with autumn blisses.  Those colors are my favorites!  Cinnamon-russet, flaming scarlet, lemony yellow, deep burgundy, pumpkin-plump orange—especially spectacular this season.

And look, there on my front porch perches a pumpkin of perfect, burnished orange glories right by my front door. It makes me smile.

Not the right color for the Christmas season?  The librarian suggested that I give it some pipe cleaner reindeer antlers for the yuletide effect.  No way!  Nature made it perfect.  I guess I could let it be a companion to my brilliant orange-berried firethorn bush in the back.  When the cedar waxwings come and hover and enjoy winter feasts there, I bet they won’t criticize the absence of Christmas lights.  There, I can still enjoy the unhasty retreat of autumn in view of Noel red and green everywhere else.  After all, the trees are not done with autumn color either.

But really, how can it be December 1?  Where did the days go?  Somebody please stop the hours rushing away into oblivion.  I surfed the internet, only to drown a few days ago in all the choices for Christmas gift ideas.  Honest, I started getting nervous and uptight and had to just let it go.  So much for getting it done.  It looks like I will have to choose a slower pace, whether I want to or not– and who has time for that especially at this time of the year?

On the other hand, taking a few minutes, even several times a day, to just be still and enjoy the play of sunlight over the wintering, leaf-strewn grass, a mug of steaming cinnamon tea, a crunchy rosemary French fry, a stranger with kind eyes taking my blood pressure at the doctor’s office, or the simple home experience of curling up on the couch at the end of the day to read aloud to each other—these enrich and bring on the bliss molecules of peace and joy and comfort.

Especially when I express gratitude or appreciation.  Keeps me off that horrible buzz of demanding to-do’s to be solved, and I do have the habit of trying to juggle 3 or 4 projects at once in my brain.  So wearying and numbing—especially when you are taking a walk!  Give me a break please from problem-solving and let me just be, just enjoy!

Yes, I’m trying to change that…do that mindfulness thing more…pray and look up at His gentle face, His kind and affectionate eyes more.  He values people and time differently from most of us in our hurry-scurry world.  When I get still, I truly can touch the Divine and be touched with peace, with joy, with hope, love, all things good.  Not so much when I hurry or worry.

Perhaps we can begin this season anew and afresh…by practicing a few moments of stillness and gratitude every day.

Go ahead–Steal from the demanding minutes.  You’ll be glad you did, and those around you will receive a gift that neither you nor they knew was coming.  The peace that descends on you will come on them too.  The joy that bubbles up from within you will overflow on them too.

Now that’s the gifts we need for Christmas.  Peace and joy and probably a little comfort too.

Stay well, hearts full of wonder, free of impatience, worry, or a discouraging word.  Avoid conflict if you must.  Face it if it’s your time.  Handle everyone and everything a bit more gently.  Your greatest gift to others is yourself, kindly, gracious, peaceful, joyous.  Have a blessed season!


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