Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I stand in the local savings bank to look at the Christmas tree, allowing time for thoughts to rise to the surface. There it is. Green. Tall. Fat. Unalive. Overpowering the lobby. Invasive. Yelling Christmas. Red bows. Garlands. Pretty in a material-retail sort of way. I am feeling sadness. What is it, this tree. A promise of something coming. Something big and beautiful coming? A promise that material things in boxes wrapped perfectly will satisfy something in me? A promise that someone else will know better than I what brings me happiness?. I wonder now how my Jewish friends from long ago felt in high school about Christmas trees. I wonder now why I had never thought about them before at Christmas time. I wonder how the Muslims in this town feel right now. I wonder how people struggling financially feel. How hard it must be. Are the gifts ever enough for everyone? Is the Christmas day ever all it's built up to be? Are peace and prosperity always tucked away somewhere in the future year? Thich Nhat Hanh says, Peace is every step. There is no way to peace, peace is the way.

This year Christmas Day was a good day. Read books, stayed home, had a lazy day. The gifts exchanged Christmas Eve were just a few things, then we talked. With the wrapped presents out of the way, Christmas Day became free to be with what is. Christmas - just one of 365 days to give and receive, to witness birth of joy and hope and love.  It was a good day.


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