We're Getting Close....

So Christmas is sliding through the front door with wet boots and an umbrella here in the Northwest. Outside, the sky is a holiday grey and the fog, just enough to make us keep hope there will be snow...though we know most likely our homes will glisten with rain and not snowflakes.

This is the stocking I've had since I was little. Born in 1969, I've met a lot of other people my age with similar stockings--the felt and sequins rage. The one item I had with my name on it where it was spelled correctly with an "i" and a "y."

I remember this stocking stuffed with everything from a Lifesaver book to underwear. Usually, there was a plastic candy cane filled with Hershey's kisses or some other candy poking out. Oh the treasures of the stocking.

What I want this year (besides my hat back), is a lot of world happiness. I've been asking for world peace the last couple of years and I think it's a big order. I think if we start with happiness first, it may lead to peace. It may lead to one person being kind to another and so on. It may lead us to see each other as people, not groups or enemies, but to see each other as individuals with gifts to offer, with families, with the hope of living another day, another year.

It's easy to forgot what's important as bills slide into our mailboxes, as commercials tell us how our lives aren't perfect because we haven't upgraded to HDTV. So many reasons not to be happy...look past them.

A reverend once told me that we were put on this earth to remember where we came from, to remember how we arrived with nothing and yet, we still smiled at others. We were all born with hope and goodness. We can still find it in others and in ourselves. And while it can be hard not to be distracted by the craziness of culture--celebrity, commercialism, chaos--I'm taking a moment to be thankful for I have that can't be wrapped--the voices of my husband and daughter down the hall laughing, the breath of my golden retriever asleep on the floor, the snoring (yes, snoring) of my cat Eliot on the couch.

And while I love the rip and unwrap of Christmas, what Santa brings, what we find beneath the tree, I know it's temporary, like this and this and this all of this around us. So I say "thank you" for what I have. And I wish you the very best holiday season--Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice--and if I could wrap up some happiness for you, I would. If I could mail it your way, I would. I would offer you a bowl of happiness, a garden of happiness, a house of happiness, a world of happiness, a poem of happiness--

now that I can do--

The Great Wagon

by Rumi

When I see your face, the stones start spinning!
You appear; all studying wanders.
I lose my place.

Water turns pearly.
Fire dies down and doesn't destroy.

In your presence I don't want what I thought
I wanted, those three little hanging lamps.

Inside your face the ancient manuscripts
Seem like rusty mirrors.

You breathe; new shapes appear,
and the music of a desire as widespread
as Spring begins to move
like a great wagon.

Drive slowly.

Some of us walking alongside
are lame!


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don't go back to sleep.

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.

Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
What a bargain, let's buy it.


Daylight, full of small dancing particles
and the one great turning, our souls
are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?


They try to say what you are, spiritual or sexual?
They wonder about Solomon and all his wives.

In the body of the world, they say, there is a soul
and you are that.

But we have ways within each other
that will never be said by anyone.


Come to the orchard in Spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts

in the pomegranate flowers.

If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.

* * * *


Dear friends,

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Best wishes to all.

* * * *