My memories of Christmas were so deeply formed in my childhood
that I went searching for an echo that would ring true other than
Babes In Toyland.
I had to go very far back, not only in time but in season:


” Summer brought fireflies in swarms,
They lit our evenings like dreams
we thought we couldn’t have.
We caught them in jars, punched
holes, carried them around for days.

Luminous abdomens that when charged
with air turned bright. Imagine!
mere insects carrying such cargo,
magical caravans flickering beneath
low July skies. We chased them, amazed.

The idea! Those tiny bodies
pulsing phosphorescence.
They made reckless traffic,
signaling, neon flashes forever
into the deepening dusk.

They gave us new faith
in the nasty tonics of childhood,
pungent, murky liquids promising
shining eyes, strong teeth, glowing skin,
and we silently vowed to swallow ever after.
What was the secret of light?
We wanted their brilliance:
small fires hovering,
each tiny explosion
the birth of a new world.”


These few days leading to tonight, Christmas Eve,
have been valleys and peaks! A few moments of
uncertainty and anxiety could have marred the anticipation
of family and fun and childhood re-visited.
Maybe through the grace so abundant at this time of open
hearts, maybe just trusting, I was able to reach out and
ask for help, blind for the moment.

Help came, like the summer fireflies, in tiny explosions,
in light, allowing rebirth of my own capacity to be present
to life. That’s really how it seemed!

All homage to this season of light.

with love …


STANDING. I had not realized how much I take for granted.
This morning I picked up a small book of poetic prayer,
intending to send to family and friends something from home.

A small reminder, maybe.
Instead, I found this amazing, simple awareness:

“This morning as I put my feet on the floor
let me remember how many thousands of years
it took for this act to be possible —-
the slow and painstaking development
so that a human creature could rise,
could stand on two feet, and then walk.

From the very beginning, from the first explosion
Your precise and patient love has been creating us.

The wonder is that now my hands are free
even as I walk or run or stand or dance.
The wonder is that now while I am upright
my eyes can gaze at the ground,
along the ground, and beyond to the horizon ….

I know You have made me
and all creatures for freedom ….
an ever-increasing, evolving freedom.
I am filled with awe by this.
It requires that we face the unknown,
that we rise to it.
You are still exploding in us
and I am scared.
My trust is so puny.

But You are near. You are here
even as You have been from the very first.
You are the vast time and space
in which life is happening. You are Life itself
providing us with centuries to become
Your conscious image.

With wonder at what You have entrusted to us,
help me to know that You are both
the ground and the being
apart from which there is nothing.
Help me to stand up
in Your freedom.”

…………GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book,
Being Home, a book of meditations.

This time of year, the bright lights conceal the fact
that we get up and return home in the dark. a time
for me to get started singing along with Pete Seeger,
“… this little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine,
let it shine,
let it shine.”
with love …