I have been very drawn to the Christmas story this year. I cannot remember any other time in my life since childhood that I have been so interested in the story of the birth and feeling a connection with the religious aspects of the holiday. As I wrote yesterday, I am feeling a particular connection to Mary.
It was so interesting to me that the Christmas Star, this rare alignment, would be happening again this year. As I look back over the year, I can see how, more than any other year, the story and the star are needed.
On the one hand it has been a year of upheaval, pandemic, death, fear, fighting, and injustice. It offered up the shadows we had chosen to ignore in a way that let us know it is time to face it and FIX it. It took loved ones too soon and reminded us how important it is to tell the ones we love how we feel while they are here.
On the other hand it has been a year about focusing on what is important. I was not the only one saying "if only I had time..." and BOOM, granted. The shutdown gave me nothing but time. I often wished I had more time with my children rather than so much time running around in the car doing drop off and errands and pick up, BOOM, wish granted! I am home more than any other time aside from maternity leave in over four years, my husband is home, and my children are by my side nearly every moment of the day. Time together has been granted in abundance. It has been beautiful.
This year has offered up the reminder to prioritize. For us that meant grandparents over in-person school. It has offered the reconnection to nature. It is the one safe place to enjoy and get some fresh air. It has offered a slower pace, IF we choose to accept it. It has offered so many services of convenience, curbside everything to keep us focused on the important stuff.
And as the year draws to a close, as Christmas nears, the will be a bright light in the night sky. It is a promise that light will always win over darkness. It is a promise that we will move forward from this moment and be better for it. It is a reminder that we are strong and that we bear our own light to shine in this world.
I'm grateful for the return of this special alignment. I'm grateful for the divine timing and symbolism in its return. I'm grateful for the connection I feel this year. I'm grateful for all the blessings that have come from this year. I'm grateful to look back at how myself and my family have not only stepped up but adapted to the challenges this year tossed us. I'm grateful to feel pride, it wasn't perfect but we did it as a team. I'm grateful to allow this child-like eagerness to wash over me as I await the "star" in the night sky.
Will you be looking up this holiday season? Will you take the time to gaze at this alignment? Will you allow awe to wash over you? Will you accept the blessings of this year? What changes will you take from this year into the years to come?
May we continue to prioritize what is important even when the pandemic is over. May we allow ourselves to find inspiration and awe in the beauty and gifts that this season has to offer. Have a beautiful day!