A Tale of Two Holidays
It is snowing in places which don’t see much snow. And there is a white out. An indistinguishable cloaking of celebrations. Is it Thanksgiving time, is it Christmas time. They are morphing and blending into a hybrid one. She can see a blur of holiday on the horizon. It is one, no it is two.
Yesterday we bought lights. I said we can hang them but not plug them in. Preparing, but straddling. Doing something, but remaining decidedly present in a Thanksgiving mindset. I am glad we did neither. Because for our home, spiritually and physically, we slowed down for Thanksgiving. We freed up mental space, spiritual room for more of Thanksgiving.
Unless I burrow down and turn off more of the world, I will continue to hear and see early Christmas. And that is okay, because I can look to and dwell on the birth of Christ in the rooms of my heart. And prepare Him room.
But I want a Thanksgiving-tide a season focusing on everything that is. I want a little separation of heart space. To be a thanksgiving family. To be a thanksgiving mother. To focus my energy for a least a few more days on extreme gratitude. So that I can fuel up my heart for the other 364 days, to be a year-round person of thankfulness.
In just a few more days it will be Black Friday. Admittedly I want to hide, run away from all that day represents. I can choose not to participate, yes, always.
Maybe one day the day following Thanksgiving can be re-named “The Day of Residual Thanks”. Where we are so full, not of food and excess, but of gratefulness and gratitude that it spills out. Everywhere. Marking the world, telling other souls of what joy is found in living a life colored grateful. Not black. But the colors of extreme joy. For whatever we have. For just what we have. And just be. A Thanksgiving People, once again.
A Tale Of Two Churches
She stepped off the front stoop of her little brick
Turned right, past the prayer labyrinth
Walked, thirty seconds
in her Alice gait, I am late for a very important date
blown by brisk winds at her back
Turned the knob of the old door, worn and gray
And entered into a sacred salty Sunday
Sanctuary, the church named for a saint
taking her seat beside him, it is now almost their pew
doing that claiming a seat thing that Protestants like to do
Wriggling in close to him to warm her soul, her body
too, touched by the cold
Her seat, worn red velvet, she thinks to herself
Frozen in time, there is nothing in this world she could possibly
Need, she is here
Saying the Nicene Creed
And the Eucharist and the Hymns
Hemmed in by him and extravagantly humble stained-glass
Blinded by beauty, familiar
She is home
Where the baby garbles a sweet uh-oh
And the gray-haired lady,so regal and tall and very very old
Coughs and clears her aging throat
Where the sermon sings truth where good news comes giddy
announced to the almost full pews
“we bought a water buffalo.”
Oh she is home.
But when she stepped off the stoop
She could have turned left, too
Turned the key on the SUV
Turned left then left again on Hightway Seventeen
Driven down the four-lane road
Littered not with trash
But with splattering scenes of the sea
And salt marsh grass
She could have turned the door
Of the rather new church
Built with the reclaimed
Wood, to look old
Starred at the old rugged cross
While listening to the very new
Songs of praise
She holds a dual-citizenship
Feels a bit bilingual
As her heart lingers
Straddles two sanctuaries
And she wonders
Whose idea was it
To be forced to make a decision
About church and worship.
She may be a very long while
In this place
Of indecision, spiritual ambidextrious
Raising her hands, no, now leaving them down
Living within the body of Christ
A soul without the physical walls
Of a holy home.
Stretched, yet happy
Halved, yet whole
Wandering, yet not lost
No not at all.
A member of the body
The body of Christ,
And she is at peace at last
Joining Laura Boggess at Laura Boggess dot com for Playdates At The Wellspring
And Michelle DeRusha at Michelle DeRusha dot com