As the days have gotten shorter, the darkness longer, I have been feeling increasingly stressed this holiday season. There is the usual stress of dealing with the commercialism and materialism of Christmas, planning and executing a huge gathering in a small house, and not being able to give as much as I’d like because I’m really broke. (Yes, this does seem to be a USUAL circumstance.) This year, there is the added stress of a Grandma’s illness, the dog’s illness, a broken car, and a broken relationship with my friend, T (recovering heroin addict, now on a month-long fix of methadone, benzos and alcohol). I have not been feeling very festive.
This week of solstice, I have had a few glimpses of light that have brought me cheer. It would make me really happy to share these little things, which have brightened my days.
One day I happened upon a local blog I had not visited. (OK, I was looking for a funny cat video.) There was an amazing painting that immediately captured my attention. http://lollygaggin.blogspot.com/ (Dec. 19 entry, I don't know how to link to it specifically). The power of art can be mysterious and wonderful. When I saw this painting, I felt a sense of joy. I have revisited the blog several times to view the painting.
Last night, I was traveling east on 474 getting ready to cross the river, when I saw four deer between the road and the trees. As soon as I said, “oh, look at those deer”. There were two more. And two more and two more, all the way to the bridge. What made the view more spectacular, was that the deer seemed to be in a spotlight from the bright and gorgeous full moon. I was mesmerized by the moon all the way home. It was glowing big and bright and kept being framed or obscured by moving clouds. Sometimes as the clouds would pass in front of it, they would be eerily transparent. I could see the different density?, thickness?, in different parts of the clouds. It was like looking at cloud X-rays.
The most surprising (to me) burst of joy, I experienced during my son’s band concert. The band was playing a holiday medley of songs and the program had the lyrics to carols. The audience was supposed to sing along with the band on the conductor’s cue. I am not Christian; I don’t feel any strong sense of Christmas tradition; My singing voice is about as atrocious as Jennifer’s; but as I was singing “Oh come let us adore him, oh come let us adore him, oh come let us adore hi ii im, Christ the Lord”, I felt a swelling a Christmas cheer. I sang loud and joyfully and really did feel a sense of peace and goodwill in my heart.
I have been trying to recapture that feeling all week, driving around, singing Christmas carols to myself, but apparently it is more effective when you are part of a crowd in the really cool new Five Points Community Center in Washington with an awesome High School Band playing back up music. But hopefully my spirits will improve soon. I can make it through (and hopefully enjoy) the next two days. Then I will look forward to New Year’s Eve (Little E’s birthday). And the days are lengthening and the light is returning. (In my head I have an ominous preacher voice saying “And in my spirit, so shall it be.”)
16 hours ago