Advent, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Christmas. Holidays. Holy-days. They mark the time, heralding that a sacred season is upon us again.
But does not every turn of the earth as it spins around old Sol signify the unshakable faithfulness of the Beloved? Is not every moment imbued with the holy?
Indeed. Yet, daily chores and routines can so easily lull us into a spiritual hibernation. We forget who we are and why we are here and we sleep through our so-called waking hours. Thus in collective wisdom, special days and seasons have been set aside to help us wake back up to Reality.
Every season is sacred.
Every day is holy.
Every moment is extraordinary.
Remembering this throughout the year takes a great deal of practice and a lot of mindfulness. I calculated the possibilities. If every moment that we stay in the “now” lasts about a second, there are 86,400 “nows” in every day, and more than 31 million “nows” in every year! I confess it’s no wonder to me now, why I so often fall off the “stay in the present moment” bandwagon.
But during this tumultuous time of deep change in the world and the accompanying surface uncertainties, it is even more important to strive to live in this continual state of awareness. Doing so may require even more effort on our parts, but living in the ever-present moment reaps its own hearty rewards. Have you ever experienced a high from gazing intently at the vibrant, red hues of a poinsettia flower? Or the incredible bliss from saturating yourself in the flavor of the orange juice you are drinking?
This is just a taste of the paradise available every moment of every day. All it takes is focus. Concentrate on an experience with all of your attention and with one or more or all of your senses. When you totally focus on an event, or a person, place, or thing, you become one with it in the moment. This is sacred Oneness—the root of all joy—and the key to staying awake to Reality. I set the intention during the winter holdiays that every time I see a twinkling of light, whether by candle fire, electric fire power, or star fire, I will reawaken to the now and to who I am. Mindfulness is one of the best roads to take on the way home to bliss, whether on a “holy-day” or an “ordinary day.”
But there is yet another stanza in the carol I am singing this year.
Every season is holy.
Every day is divine.
Every moment is magical…and…
During the Christian holiday season, the expectation and birth of the Christ child are celebrated. In one scriptural story, Anna, a prophetess, and Simeon, a man guided by Spirit, see the infant Jesus in the temple when Mary and Joseph have brought him there for the first time. Anna begins praising God and Simeon declares, “Here he is, the one we have been waiting for…a light…this child is destined…”
One person has asked, “What if Anna and Simeon were led by Spirit to praise God and announce these words with every new child’s first appearance at the temple?”
Hmm. Interesting question.
When I was very pregnant with my daughter and my son was nearing three years old, we traveled back to our homeland of Seattle for the 1995 holidays—not on a donkey, thank God, but via the airways from New Jersey. (Now that I think about it, I’m not sure how much better that flight was than a donkey ride. For five long hours, my husband, my toddler, and my pregnant self, were stuck on a plane in the throes of a spectacularly virulent stomach virus we had all contracted just before getting on board. Ugly doesn’t begin to describe it. The only holy moment I can recall during that inflight flu fête was when I realized I no longer feared, as I usually did, plummeting to earth in a fiery plume. In fact, I confess, I desired it.)
Anyway, on Christmas Eve that year we attended a play in Seattle that depicted the traditional nativity story with a modern twist. The angels, the shepherds, the wise men, and even Herod appeared in their scenes to each sing a popular Disney song or show tune with the words adapted for the scene. For example, when the wise men appeared, they started singing, “Oh, We Just Can’t Wait to See the King,” sung to one of the tunes from The Lion King movie. Likewise when Herod appeared, he began singing, “I Did It My Way.” It was quite clever and humorous and my son, an avid soaker-upper of all things Disney, was entranced.
A few weeks later, back in New Jersey, my daughter was born and within a couple of days we were sent home from the hospital happy and well. One afternoon soon afterward, my son snuggled close to me while I was resting on our living room sofa. He looked up at me with a furrowed brow of concerned contemplation and asked me quizzically, “Mommy, when are the wise men going to come to our house?”
In his enlightened sensibility, informed by the Christmas Eve play, the wise men were supposed to arrive after every new baby’s birth. What if that did happen in our world? What if wise women and men announced the birth of every child as divine promise and arrived soon afterward, bestowing each new soul born with gifts and symbols of the spiritual presence inherent within? What if this were a holiday ritual for all children to help them remember who they are? Would our world heal?
For is not every child sacred? Is not every baby a divine spark made manifest? Does not every birth herald the promise of renewed Holy presence and purpose among us? Is not every infant another face of God?
Every season is sacred.
Every night is divine.
Every moment is miraculous.
Every child is holy.
Look into an infant’s eyes this season and see the light of the Beloved shining through them. Be a wise woman or man and offer spiritual gifts and words of blessing to little children and grown-ups, too, who have yet to meet the Divine Child within. And let the twinkling of lights in the night reawaken you to the now and remind you who you are.
Blissful Holidays to one and all!
Questions for Reflection: How will you celebrate the sacredness of a holy season in a new way this year? How can you celebrate the Child Within throughout the year?