Holidays are terrific, terrible reminders of all the feelings you have ever felt.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you are a cyborg. And you know and I know that you’re as real as life and breath and egg nog.
There’s just something about late December that wakes up all the ghosts and unmet hopes and makes them dance, less like sugar plums and more like tiny tots with their eyes all aglow. (You bet your bunions you’ll find it hard to sleep tonight if you see those in your house.)
Perhaps it’s the hungry darkness, coming to a crescendo of cold. Maybe it’s the screaming reminders that this is THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY YOU WILL BE MERRY AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!
Whatever it is, we know in our bones and our breath that all is not calm; all is not as it was made to be, as it one day will be. We feel the absence of the ones we’ve lost, the ones we have yet to find, the hopes and fears of all the years. (Some of those carols really do get it right.)
You do not need me to tell you that we live in a very strange and unsettled world, one that contains Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads and egg nog pancakes and all manner of abominations and absurdities.
And so we feel the yearning. We feel the curse that precedes the joy. We feel and tremble for how far it’s found, from election angst to Aleppo to an Adelaide-empty Suite FIV.
And then we light the candles, we pray, we bake, we hold each other, and we believe that the sign’s already been given for the turning of the tide.
Just at the darkest, the light will regain the upper hand.
Just when the pain is greatest, a supernatural surge of hope will be given.
Just when the curse is all you see, a cat leaps in your lap, or a hand reaches across the abyss. Grace comes. And, until Joy is altogether ascendant, it’s enough.
Make space for your grief, good friends. Feel the ache. And be carried by the hope that cats and angels know He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, with not a cranny or a kitten overlooked.