oh, the holly and the ivy - when they are both full grown - of all the trees within the wood, the holly wears the crown...
my favorite carol has a poignant ring to it this year for me... the hollies that were planted on the day of my birth stand inside a garden abandoned and alone. the house that's stood so many years is silent, stripped and swept. no wreaths brighten the doorways, no lights shine. if ever it was time to allow the old to pass away, to die, to be reborn, it's now.
but the cords of memory, of connection, of ancestors cut deep. here, in the deep dark hour before dawn, i weep. never again to pound those back steps, never again to charge through the door. the frame is splintered, the stairs are rotting out. the place is dangerous - it all needs to be replaced.
in blog and email and journal post, i read of emptiness, and yearning. where's christmas? i read over and over...it's not the way it used to be... where's the magic, where's the joy? where's that Thing i used to know?
last year i lost my best friend. this year i lost my Home. what's next, i think, and i shake.
but then the candle sputters and sparks. it flares and momentarily, the tears in my eyes burst into a kaleidescope of color and pattern. i blink and the glimpse is gone. i see that the Magic is right here.
all that i remember and treasure best about the holidays i have carried forward and all that i didn't, i have discarded along the way. there are stockings and presents and food for everyone, and a place for everyone at the table. the sour and the vinegar are tolerated, right along with the bland and the sweet. what i have learned is that there is an Art and a gift in creating the celebration that's called by so many names. but whatever you call it, the Magic is mine to make.
for me, this is part of the magic of this Season, that every year i have an opportunity to create an experience for my children and my family and my friends that will burn like a warm cinder through long dark nights. and when i have passed away, like the memory of last year's lucy-tree, part of my Gift to them will be that Art, and that Magic.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.