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Wednesday
Dec182013

Tis the Season: Writing What I Don't Want to Forget

This time of year is a jumble of emotions. (That much I wish I could forget sometimes.)

I manage it as best I can through walking, meditation, an occasional Christmas cookie, and pulling the covers over my head when nothing else seems to work. The beauty of this glorious jumble is that every now and then a day or moment so perfect arrives and cradles my heart like Mary snuggling with sweet baby Jesus. 

Saturday was one of those days.

My husband and I experienced the joy of Christmas this weekend when we visited friends in British Columbia. It was the kind of weekend filled with unexpected gifts like a soaring eagle spread across a brightened sky and two coins flattened on a railroad track.

Gifts of laughter and warms hugs. Simple and lovingly prepared food—soup, tomatoes, crusty bread, olives, spiced potato chips, and salted caramel ice cream. Festive cocktails. Time spent with dear friends who we met two brief years ago and have seen a handful of times; our tales of connection extending beyond time. Stories overlapping. God. Family. Music. Core beliefs. Introverts and Extraverts. Holy places. Playtime. The things that bring us alive and those that put us off.

 

“Write what should not be forgotten.” Isabelle Allende

Of this past weekend I don’t want to forget the long, slow, dark drive from Sumas to West Vancouver. Feeling trapped in a sea of headlights. No escape, only one wheel turn after another. It felt like we might never get there. At one mile per hour, 20 miles is an eternity. Oh what a metaphor for life! But then… finally… we were curving through their neighborhood, turning around in looping circles. So close yet so far. And then with one final turn, there were the lights of the church, the welcome of their house, a warm embrace and we were home.

Our friends, Christine and Angus, have become my grounding angels for the holiday season. From the moment I serendipitously met them two years ago at a David Whyte poetry reading, Christine has been a soul sister. We share and offer each other things we can’t always define and have no expectation of receiving. We show up and allow Spirit to meet and move us just like a pilgrim or the magi who takes a journey through the night, across a border, into the wildness (or wilderness) and allows the road to rise up, meet them, and change them.

As friends, we found so much joy sitting in the living room after a long day of hiking, walking, and fresh air. On the hike there were times I was tired, but Angus, our guide, was energized—taking us to his special place and then onto the waterfalls where Bill played in a photographer’s heaven.

Together, we put one foot in front of the other and rested when we needed to rest. We saw the sea form elaborate patterns, and clouds pretend to be snowcaps on the mountains. We wondered about the clearing made by man in a secretive way. We waved at the passing truck on the tracks, warning us about an approaching train. We plugged our ears when the whistle screamed and, after it passed, frolicked back to the track where I’d placed coins to be flattened.

We got wet from rain. We watched the sky turn from dark to bright and back again. We stood in awe. We scrambled down pathways and across the uneven trail for miles and miles. We talked. We walked. We were silent and silly. And when we returned home, we laughed and listened to wild, wonderful music, including at least three versions of Bob Dylan’s song, “My Back Pages.”

"Ah, but I was so much older then;

I'm younger than that now"

 

As far as days go, this one will go down as one of my most perfect ever. It is a day to not be forgotten. Christmas visited us on Saturday with all its jumble of emotions… but best of all, it came with the simplicity of home, nature, dear friends, and cherished memories.

What do you want to remember this season? The jumble or the joy? The darkness or the light? I invite you to take a few moments and write what you don't want to forget. 

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