Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Metta Sutta....a Blessing for 2012

Blessing for 2012

May everyone be happy and safe, and may their
hearts be filled with Joy.

May all living beings live in Security and in Peace –
beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small,
visible or not visible, near or far away,
already born or yet to be born.
May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility.

Let no one do harm to anyone. Let no one put the
life of anyone in danger. Let no one, out of anger or ill will,
wish anyone any harm.
                                                ~ Metta Sutta (Suttanipata)
                                                          Translated by Thich Nhat Hahn

Before things get too busy around here, I wanted to take a moment to send out a blessing to all of us. Although it seems quite appropriate with the fast approaching New Year, it is a blessing for all the days we share on this beautiful planet.

It does not seem to matter how much wealth we have…or even how much health we have…if there resides no peace within us - then even the greatest of treasures fall short. May you find, in the quiet moments of this day, a place of perfect tranquility.



Friday, December 2, 2011

From This Place

This picture hangs above our fireplace right now. I say "right now" because when your husband is a photographer, things like this change from time to time. For the most part, I am pleased with the transitions. But this one, the one he calls Snowy Oak, is different. I may just keep this one up for a very long time.

BWCA 2007
Nature heals me. More specifically...the woods. I am never so close to the divine as I am when I am laying stretched out on some huge stone or back side up with my head to the clouds, capturing pieces of sky beyond tree tops and quivering leaves or laying face down in the moist mossy earth.

I remember feeling this way as a child in the arms of my father. Safe, warm, connected to something so much bigger than me. I can smell his fresh t-shirt as I pressed my cheek to his chest. I can hear his heart beating as if it somehow were my own, carrying me within the gentle cadence of his strength.  

I don't get out into the woods much any more. Conditions have to be just right - for me and for the woods. But I try not to grieve any longer for what I don't have. It's a pretty useless way to expend energy. What I do try to do, is to draw from within, those many experiences I HAVE had. That's what Snowy Oak does for me. I can stand in front of our fireplace and become completely lost in the twisted, gnarled, snow covered branches that fill my wall. My breathing slows as I am drawn into the motion of each flake, to the wrenched rhythm of each brittle twig. I can smell the frozen air. I can feel the cragged meandering bark as I run my bare hand down her trunk. Wrinkled crows-feet worn like the badges of an old women. If I were a fortune teller of oak...Oh, the stories I could tell!

This is most holy.

When I sat down to write to you today, I was filled with a sort of melancholy. I'm not really "feeling" the whole Christmas thing this year - at least, not in the traditional sense of things. Which, I am finding, is actually a good thing. At first the temptation was to wonder what's wrong with me. But as I look inward, what I am realizing is that I am filled with a deep sense of longing. Longing not for the brightly covered busy-ness of the perfectly decorated Fraser Fir or Scotch Pine. Longing not for the hubbub of city streets or the thrill of finding just the right deal or even the display of  holiday lights. What I'm longing for this holiday season is this...


This kind of Quiet...

It is from this place, from the quiet dead of winter, that I want to venture out from.

It is from this place, from the barren fields of snow, that I want to adorn my home for the gatherings.
It is from this place, from the lifeless empty branches, that I want to give the gifts of my heart.

It is from this place, from seemingly endless nights of December, that I want to discover my joy.

It is from this place, this quiet, very still place, that I find home.

May we all come home for the holidays.