Present Tense

Springing forward….


We’re beginning to see the subtle signs of spring in the great white north.  A few more glimpses of the sun, the drip, drip, drip of ice and snow melting off the eaves, increasing bird sounds and deer venturing out of their hiding places.

And so it goes.  Time always comes to the rescue, to use a well-worn phrase, like clockwork.  We never trust it during our dark times; we lose faith that change will come and now here it is.

Even a record-setting, brutal winter will pass.  Not without consequences to humans, structures and nature, but eventually the renewal begins and we can step out of our closed up dwellings, peel off the down jackets, lose the scarves and mittens and assess the physical and psychic damage of such a challenging season.

This is one of the reasons I’ve made the choice to live in places with four, distinct seasons.  To me, these seasons teach us resilience, flexibility and acceptance.  They come and go with regularity, but we never quite trust it to happen.  And then it does.  Another lesson.

It mirrors phases of our lives.  Like the seasons, good times roll through, as do bad times and transitional times; life is never static, it is fluid.  Like nature.

We humans think that we can control so much; that all will bend to our strong will.  We know deep down that we cannot and that makes us angry and scared, which seems to be a national pastime here in the U.S. of A.

So, as the signs of spring grow and as we ‘spring forward’ this weekend, know that we all morph and evolve and change and transform and grow and die and molt and blossom and renew and shine and fade and shrivel and then begin again.

A little confession:  I wrote this more as a reminder for me, than for you.  But, if it speaks to you,  I am happy.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

And so, this is Christmas????

Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids or maybe it’s because of the way my wonderful parents raised me, but Christmas doesn’t stress me out.  I do very little shopping and my siblings and I agreed years ago that none of us ‘need’ anything and since we’re spread out from coast to coast, we all choose a charity and make a donation for Christmas, in lieu of gifts.

This year is no exception. I’m not anxious about Christmas, but I am disgusted and saddened and the funny thing is, I’m not a Christian.  I’ve written quite a lot about my religious and spiritual journey (it’s on-going, by the way) and so Christmas is more of a secular holiday for me.  I love the trappings of Christmas and I love the message of peace, love and charity that Christmas should inspire.  Regardless of faith or lack thereof, who can argue with that message?  Yet, I see very little of that spirit and an over abundance of greed, selfishness, materialism, bitching, complaining, ‘being stressed-out’.  Where’s the peace and love?

People fight over parking spots, video games, toys, pajamas, canned hams, and cheap ornaments and then turn around and bitch about the ‘war on Christmas’, and how some retail outlets say “Happy Holidays”  instead of “Merry Christmas” as you swipe your credit card.  WE are the war on Christmas, folks.  It’s us.  We’re “stressed out” because we are desperately trying to buy love, happiness and acceptance through shopping and wrapping.

Remember when you were a kid and the build-up to Christmas and Santa Claus and the PRESENTS was almost too much to bear?  And remember how the day after Christmas was such a let-down?  All that excitement about the stuff we were gonna get and then once we got it, even as kids, we realized that we were still the same person.  Our lives were pretty much the same and there is so much other stuff out there that we didn’t get.  Have we learned that lesson as grown-ups?  No, ladies and gentlemen, we have not.

The dude whose birthday we’re celebrating would be shocked by our behavior.  We spend something like $450 billion on Christmas each year and just imagine if we tithed 1/10th of that to charity.  That would be a nice gift to honor Jesus and show some love to our fellow man.

So, as you’re rushing around, frantically trying to finish up your shopping at stores whose shelves are picked clean, reconsider your goal to buy more stuff for people who probably don’t need it.  Think about someone who may be hungry, cold, or trapped in a war zone.  Instead of buying something cheap and meaningless, show your love by making a donation to a worthy charity.  You can do it online, while you relax in your jammies, rather than battling the last minute lines of ‘stressed out’ shoppers.

“Peace on earth, goodwill toward men” isn’t just a line from Charlie Brown; it’s the essence of why we celebrate Christmas, regardless of your beliefs.  Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments


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