We are slow to the spirit at our house this year. Bad moods abound, as does bad behavior (some of it, I will admit, my own).
But today is a day at home, girls at school, husband at work, snow falling outside, kittens jumping inside. The dishwasher and the washing machine are humming their tunes, background rhythm to the CD I’ve put on, in hopes of jumpstarting my call to the spirit. It is Peter Mayer’s Midwinter, and I can’t recommend it enough. Read lyrics or listen here. I especially recommend the first track, Stables, which reminds me why, when I don’t believe as Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I still celebrate Christmas. It is about birth, the rebirth of love and hope, and good will. All of which have been in short supply in our little home, of late. This is as good a time as any to be reminded, to return to the ground to which I pray, that holds me even when I am too self-absorbed to notice that I am cradled, always, in the spirit.
Tonight we will meet at church for our First Friday Potluck with the only objective to decorate the sanctuary. No business. No meetings. No agenda. Just garlands and candles…and fudge. It is my favorite night of the year in one of my favorite places–I like it even more than our Christmas Eve Vespers service, which is saying a lot. It is a truly intergenerational evening, as the generations pass on the knowledge of what we’ve always done while welcoming twists that sometimes border the bizarre (last year’s festooning of the Sanctuary’s chandeliers with gaudy gold beads, however fabulous, would probably be included in this category–an idea for which I will happily take partial credit).
Still, it is a ritual that reminds me I am part of something larger, something that will live on after me. And I am ever so grateful when I reach that moment when the spirit catches fire, and takes me out of my head and my body for a while. And it is in that moment that I stand back and watch as life moves on, in endless song, as Dottie or Joyce sit and hand ornaments to Sylvie or Lydia to put on the tree–someone else’s grandmother placing an ornament in the hand of someone else’s granddaughter, passing the torch, generation to generation, one hand to another.
The entire Midwinter CD has played since I first sat down to write, here. In between loads of laundry and checking my work email and voicemail (yes, it’s my day off, but it is also a day with deadlines for which I’m responsible), I have been writing here while the CD has played. I had to stop sitting at track 8, Make My Christmas Day, to dance, as I did once again, as I was getting ready to hit “publish” on this entry, when the last song blasted on.
“Where is the Light.” Listen to it. Please. Go here and listen or read the lyrics.
Where is the Light? The light’s inside of me.
And now, thanks to the snow, and Peter Mayer, and the anticipation of fudge and gaudy chandeliers, the spirit is inside me, too.