20 December – I’ll be home for Christmas

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I’ll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

 – Songwriters: KENT, GANNON, RAM

This weekend marks the start of some of the busiest travel days of the year.  Why do we travel great distances to reunite lives that tend to unspool in different directions for most of the year?  What is the importance of reunion? Can you tell me a story about coming home?

(And if you really must hear a bit of Bing, listen here)

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19 December – Meanwhile…

Photo by Narelle Carter-Quinlan, www.embodiedterrain.com, https://sites.google.com/site/narelleyogascoliosis/

Photo by Narelle Carter-Quinlan, http://www.embodiedterrain.com

Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea.  The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle.  Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.

- Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea.

Make yourself a cup of tea, hold the mug in your hands and breathe deep.  Then write of the beautiful foolishness of things.

p.s. soughing is not a spelling error – it’s a word!

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18 December – Spectrum

What are the colours of December?

How does the spectrum move through your month?

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17 December – Luminarias

photo by Maria Gair, mariagphotography.com

photo by Maria Gair, mariagphotography.com

Northern New Mexico is my home.  I was born in the Land of Enchantment, and more than four decades later, I’m still under its spell.  Christmas time in New Mexico is especially magical for me.  Of all the regional traditions of the season, luminarias are my absolute favourite.

A luminaria is a simple lantern, made from a small paper bag filled with a few inches of sand to stabilize a votive candle.  On Christmas Eve, people line their driveways, houses, and sidewalks with luminarias and light the candles at dusk.  The flickering glow through the brown paper creates a light like no other I know.

Often, whole neighborhoods agree to place luminarias along the sidewalks and turn off bright lights for the evening.  Walkers stroll these streets lit by a string of small lights adding up to make a pathway of hope.

What luminarias – lit by friends, families, circumstances, decisions – add up to a pathway of hope for you?

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16 December – Words from Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
 
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
 
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
 
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

 

Where are you going? What promises must you keep?  How many miles?

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15 December – Migration, hibernation

Photo by Maria Gair, http://mariagphotography.com/

Photo by Maria Gair, http://mariagphotography.com/

The sky fills with migrating geese, the forest with hibernating bears and sleeping trees.

When it is winter, what parts of you want to dig deep burrows and rest until spring?  How do you honour that instinct?

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14 December 2014 – Ghost of Christmas future

Photo by Maria Gair, http://mariagphotography.com/

Photo by Maria Gair, http://mariagphotography.com/

Are there actions undone, words unsaid, gestures not yet made that you would regret not having done?  What are they?

List them.  You might start each sentence with ‘I will regret it if I don’t …’

Perhaps it’s a story you want to tell.  Or a walk you need to take.  Maybe there is a painting or a person to whom you must pay a visit.  An overdue cup of tea and sympathy?  An envelope that needs a stamp and a licking?

Can you choose one and take a small action that will soothe away a possible future regret?

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