I am happy because I am grateful!
Today I can celebrate the Divine spark of love and forgiveness.
I have a friend whose 40ish-year old son stopped speaking to him 3 years ago. My friend, JJ, has texted him unfailingly on special days ever since without receiving a reply. Last Christmas the gifts he sent were returned unopened. Ready to give up yesterday, I urged JJ to keep trying nevertheless. I just received a message from him telling me that he did text his son, and he had a reply this morning. Hallelujah!
May those of you who celebrate Christmas have a wonder-filled one and for those who don’t, I wish you also a day of peace, love, joy and gratefulness. xx
Oh my goodness! What a difficult question. I have so many!
But here goes… with the most important one first.
Gift 1. After that tongue-in-cheek introduction, you’ll be surprised that I start with…Ta-Dah!… Being modest – with much to be modest about!
The witty Winston Churchill said this about a political opponent and I’m sure many would say this about me. A high school Latin teacher with a very acerbic tongue put it well after I had declined a word i...
The witty Winston Churchill said this about a political opponent and I’m sure many would say this about me. A high school Latin teacher with a very acerbic tongue put it well after I had declined a word incorrectly: “You’re a nice girl. You’re pleasant – but a fool!” One of my classmates said afterwards that it would be a good epitaph for my tombstone, and, if I ever have one of those, I just might use it. But hopefully I’ll be remembered more for being pleasant (which, I have learned, costs nothing) than for being foolish (which, I have learned, has been VERY expensive at times.)
Gift 2. Curiosity. This gift has led me down some ill-considered paths but has given me a life of contrasts and experiences that have broadened my perspectives and made me more empathetic, and with a wide range of knowledge that makes me popular for pub quiz teams! (I also like to WIN!)
Gift 3. Humorous. Before the decimation of a social life this year, I had ample opportunities to interact and try to cheer others up with a laugh. Much more difficult when alone, but I picked up a HUGE book of humorous quotes in a charity shop recently and I read a few every day to have a laugh. Hopefully I can recycle some!
Gift 4. Looking my best to feel my best. I have learned that good grooming, cared-for teeth (for all the smiling), and walking tall will attract those people who want it to my 12-step way of life. This is my responsibility, and if I looked like an alcoholic, I doubt many would want the sobriety I have.
My recycled quote for today:
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
I’m not a gambler, but I’d lay money that all the wonderful people on this site belong in the former category.
Blessings on you all in this season of Light.
The weather outside reminds me that despite periods of greyness and mostly non-frozen precipitation (rain!) that is typical of Southeast Ireland at this time of year – what am I saying? Most of the year! – nothing lasts forever. The sun is always shining, even when it is not visible, which it often is. There are shoots of early spring-flowering bulbs and some late roses and winter-hardy agapanthus are in bloom, so there are flashes of colour. The trees are skeletal and beautiful even wit...
The weather outside reminds me that despite periods of greyness and mostly non-frozen precipitation (rain!) that is typical of Southeast Ireland at this time of year – what am I saying? Most of the year! – nothing lasts forever. The sun is always shining, even when it is not visible, which it often is. There are shoots of early spring-flowering bulbs and some late roses and winter-hardy agapanthus are in bloom, so there are flashes of colour. The trees are skeletal and beautiful even without their ornamentation of leaves, and I can see their bare essentials. The soil is being nourished and the days are getting longer. The cycle of life outside and inside my heart will continually be in flux. Fallow periods are followed by growth and harvest. I don’t know the Bible very well, but it’s stated so beautifully and poetically in Ecclesiastes and in the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Be flexible! Be loving! Be grateful!
Everybody who has written before me today has already expressed my answer to this wonderful question. So today I gave everyone a “heart” from my heart.
Peace, joy and love to everyone!
Thank you for your beautiful letter, Brother David. May your message find its way into the hearts of all humanity. Am listening to the O Antiphons and partaking of some magical pomegranate juice and wishing you and your monastic community a beautiful Christmas.
With love, peace, joy and gratefulness from Pollyanna.
In the midst of gathering darkness, light becomes more evident.
I love today’s quote and as a new Daily Question hadn’t arrived in my inbox when I began writing this, I’m going to reflect today on darkness and light.
Through the study and practice of Goethe’s Theory of Colour and the use of a prism, I have seen how the meeting place of darkness and light gives rise to the visible spectrum of light – colour. I envisage how the tiniest light i...
Through the study and practice of Goethe’s Theory of Colour and the use of a prism, I have seen how the meeting place of darkness and light gives rise to the visible spectrum of light – colour. I envisage how the tiniest light in a huge dark cave could not be extinguished by the darkness around it.
When the world is darkest and its cruelty, greed and inhumanity seem to be overwhelmingly in the ascendant, it is my responsibility to bring light wherever and whenever I can. There is a wonderful quote (with numerous citations as to its source): “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” I would say it is not only better – it is essential.
Yesterday some of the pandemic restrictions were lifted and I can once again leave my county (Tipperary). My daughter and her children live elsewhere in Ireland. But I don’t feel comfortable going to their home due to their lack of social distancing etc. And they are Muslims, so Christmas is not a celebration there – although the little girls got into it somewhat last year when my son joined us from Switzerland! I told them then that we were celebrating a Festival of Light and that was accepted.
So instead, we are meeting today at Lough Gur, the largest circle of Neolithic standing stones in Ireland. I haven’t been to this one before, but I know from visiting others of their importance to the times of the solstices and the sun’s piercing of the darkness. And in two days time the winter solstice will be here.
So I will endeavour today to manifest light and colour in a dark time. No dark clothes (except for my wellies!) and with a smile full of light and love and gratefulness.
Perfectly stated, Don. “…the place you can observe clearly when you don’t look directly at it.”
A wonderful quote, sunnypatti. I had never heard of Mabie, so looked him up and found another wonderful quote from him: “Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with the wind.”
Thank you for introducing me to him. xx
What a wonderful Christmas gift, Butterfly! May her pregnancy be peaceful. Merry Christmas xx
It is! The BEST! xx
What a thoughtful gift your former boss devised and you must have been a great employee to inspire it.
A visible reminder of the traits that others appreciate must be very encouraging on days of self-doubt and I am going to adopt this practice if there is ever another birthday party to go to. So much more meaningful than the trite greeting card phrase ‘You’re special’ or its ilk.
Love, peace and joy!
I’m not very practiced at delayed gratification, so I must confess I already took a peek at your suggestion for New Year, Ed! Wow! I particularly like:
There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street,
and being the noise.
I read up on it too! Blessings on the internet and on you, Michele xx
And you have brought these words to light for me today, Ed. They will be in my Christ-nous emails. Thank you.
What a beautiful reflection, Sparrow. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Peace, love and joy. Pollyanna xx
While I have experienced feeling peaceful and calm in many places of natural beauty, in front of wonderful visual and performing art, and during periods of companionable time with others, I have never revisited them in my mind when in need of peace. As others have commented, the place I find peace is within – the same place I experienced the peace and calm I have described.
Your definition of “Nous” is a perfect description of the “special place”. Merry Christ-nous to you too...
Your definition of “Nous” is a perfect description of the “special place”. Merry Christ-nous to you too, Ed.
Celebrating light with you Butterfly! Blessings!
Kevin – you speak my mind (a wonderful phrase I learned from one of your posts) about the deeper and sacred meaning of the Light. Thank you. Blessings!
Thank you all for your comments. Well it was a pilgrimage – of sorts!
A (presumably) local family had set up a rinky-dink Christmas tree in the centre of the sacred circle and returned while we were there to decorate it! So the mood I had anticipated most certainly wasn’t there, but we had fun about the irony of it all. Especially as I was discussing it with my daughter the Muslim! Think I’ll try for the summer solstice next time!
I hope you make it to Ireland some ...
I hope you make it to Ireland some day, Howie. Let me now when you’re coming and I’ll show you some of the magical places. And there are a lot! (The invitation stands for all of you wonderful folks on this site.)
I always loved Advent too – especially the music connected with it There are some beautiful carols.
Blessings to all!
Dear Anna: The vision you have of your father being in the light is so beautiful. I hope it will sustain you through this difficult time. xx
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