Sunday, December 25, 2016

Healing for the Hurting

There have been many moments this year - and especially this Fall - that it seemed like we are all simply too good at being bad to each other.  Gun violence against church goers, gun violence against school children, gun violence against the police, gun violence by the police. Children, non-combatants and soldiers being killed in Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Cameroon, Iraq, Chad, Niger and elsewhere.  People with more money than they could ever need and they complain that they need more while others struggle to feed themselves.  People running for office behaving with no integrity or respect for the citizens of their country.  Citizens deciding that the only thing you need to know is whether a person is "liberal" or "conservative."  And, if you know that, you have a 50/50 chance of being able to hate them without any real reason to do so.  It feels like we are now in a world where it is ok to taunt others when you win and to change the rules if you lose.

My point is that we ARE better than this. But, it is so hard sometimes to feel like better is possible.  Yet here we are, Christmas day.  It's a day that's supposed to be magical, peaceful and full of love.  Perhaps it is not the same for you if your faith or beliefs lead you elsewhere.  But, I suspect you have your celebrations, rituals, places and/or times that you feel are supposed to symbolize all that is good.  Maybe you wonder if you can feel the way you did when you were a child when that time came along?

Music is one of the things that helps me see beauty in the world once again and I am grateful to have access to so much variety provided by people with talent and a willingness to share.

Let's close our eyes and make believe,
In all the ways we used to see,
A magic world of fantasy,
When we were kids on Christmas morning

- House of Heroes 

The snow was coming down on Friday.  Big, huge, wet flakes that rapidly covered everything that had gotten a little bit dirty and ugly looking.  Someone mentioned that they felt like they had been placed in a snow globe.  I could hear the snowflakes hitting the bill of my cap.  I could hear Chickadees in the brush nearby.  I realized that I was starting to feel - just a bit - like there was still beauty and peace in this world.

Underneath white birches
Our faces toward the sky
We will make snow angels
With our white horse standing by
- Over the Rhine
What is beauty?  What is joy?  Is it a gift or is it something you work for?  Could it be both?  Perhaps the gift is that we should want to work for peace and the wellness of our world.  Maybe kindness and understanding are gifts you have to give if you wish to receive them.

If you listen to this version of Riu Riu Chiu by Sixpence None the Richer, you'll find one of my favorite moments in a Christmas album recording.  The cameo of a bird adding it's abilities to the song.  Something as simple as birdsong can change how I feel so quickly - as long as I let it do so.  Maybe that is part of what we need right now?  Do we need to allow ourselves to accept gifts that are good for us? 

Lonely hearts strung across the land
They’ve been waiting long for a healing hand.
My heart was there and I felt the chill
Love came down and the earth stood still
- Future of Forestry

I can't fix everything.  Maybe I can't fix anything.  But, I will do my best to try.  I will do my best to give the gifts of kindness and understanding.  I will find ways to do what is right and step up when others need my support.  I will encourage myself to look for new perspectives and new reserves of strength so I am able to give and receive with grace.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Rob & Tammy
at the Genuine Faux Farm

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