Whimsy and Wonder

Where are whimsy and wonder this time of year?

I used to have a very hard time seeing anything but angst and grumpiness and things that made me sad.  Over the years it’s gotten better.

I like to go the mall in December.  Not to shop and not on the weekend! I go to look at the decorations and watch the children visit Santa.  We saw a rough-looking Santa at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh the other day–too many days outside without sunscreen or too many Jack Daniels, I think.  The harried parents get my sympathy.  The excited children feed my soul.

(One of my daughters was afraid of Santa.  The other asked me before she got to kindergarten if Santa was real.  I promised myself when she was born that I’d never lie to her.  I didn’t.  Sigh.)

I like Christmas music.  The classics, of course, but I have 2 country cd’s that make me smile every time I listen to them.  I even like “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer“.  It’s good to laugh and be silly.

Our church has a candlelight service at 11 pm on Christmas Eve.  It’s quiet and peaceful and reverent.  My brother and our grown children won’t stay up late enough to go, but Mike does.  Then we drive through the neighborhood that has these amazing light balls hanging from trees.  (Here’s are some pictures.) It’s magical.

This year we’ll have Adaline. She will be 10 months old on Christmas Day.  I think she’ll like the blinky tree lights.

Does your holiday include any whimsy and wonder?

Have you looked?

Election Day (no politics, I promise)

Did you vote yesterday?  Did you notice the folks working at your polling place?  I worked all day at my polling place yesterday. Our polls were open 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.  The worst moment was when I thought the clock said 10:30, but it was really only 9:30.  The day looked very long.

In 5th grade we studied the US Constitution article by article.  I don’t remember how long that took.  I loved it!  I was kind of a geek back then.

I love patriotic music and parades.  (John Phillips Sousa rocks.)  Washington, DC is one of my favorite cities.  I know all the words to “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful”.  I don’t like the new fancy versions of the Star-Spangled Banner.  And I think it’s disrespectful to start cheering at a ballgame before the end of the National Anthem.

Some things I observed on Election Day:

1. Several people were waiting before 6:30 am.  And several more were bundled up and standing outside with signs and pamphlets before it was light.

3.  No one was rude or pushy.  (It helped that no one had to wait longer than a few minutes, I’m sure.)

4.  Most folks were serious and thoughtful while they worked through the ballot.

5.  A surprising number of people thanked us for being there.  We thanked everyone for coming to vote.

6.  One man brought us a plate of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.  They didn’t last very long.

7.  Parents bringing their children took time to talk to them about why they were there.  Two little girls thought their mom said they were going boating.  They were kind of grumpy.

7.  Our form of government can be very messy and tumultuous, but it works pretty well.  And many of us are proud of that.

Maybe if all the politicians spent Election Day  working at a polling place, they’d try a little harder to work together and make things better.  Maybe they would feel the patriotism and sense of community  in the chilly school cafeteria or fire station.  Do they even remember that the whole process starts with each of us choosing to go vote?  Are they grateful for the privilege to represent us?

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm  Comments (4)  
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Turtle or Gazelle?

Kim and Donna, as part of a Soul Collage workshop, led a guided meditation to help us envision our totem animals.  I was hoping for something graceful and elegant, able to leap in the air and run fast—a gazelle, perhaps.  My Spirit gave me a big, old, ponderous, turtle.

Turtle is not glamorous, but really not as uninspiring as I first thought.  Here is what I learned about turtle symbolism:

1.  Turtle’s whole life is one of steadfastness, effort, and patience. It lives a slow and steady life of “non-doing”.

2.  Turtle takes its wisdom one day at a time – not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural rhythm.

3.  The medicine of Turtle is its deliberate and thorough approach to life.  

4. Turtle naturally withdraws and goes within when in turmoil. It does not need to learn the importance of this focusing inward, it naturally knows.

5.  Turtle is courageous because it makes progress only when it sticks its neck out and moves forward with patient, steady flow.

6.  Turtle is always at home within itself.

I have spent years learning about living one day at a time, being in the moment, and accepting life as it comes to me.  All those words in all those books and discussions are summed up in “Turtle”.  Once again I am humbled.  And delighted by how cleverly Spirit teaches me.