Wednesday, December 17, 2008

prelude to Christmas

Posted by Picasa

As I look out on this wintry scene, (unusual here in Victoria), I'm thinking of how the way I feel at Christmastime has evolved over the years, from the pure joy and impatience of childhood to the parental excitement of going through Christmas with my own children, to now, the more interwoven feelings of both nostalgia and hope.
This is our first Christmas without my mother, and even though she was usually far away at Christmas, just knowing her big-hearted spirit and love was being sent out to all of us made Christmas feel right. So, things feel a bit sad and the loss is felt in unexpected moments and ways.
At the same time, seeing our granddaughter, now 20 months old, put ornaments on and take ornaments off her tree, listen and look as a Christmas book is read, and experience so many seasonal joys, like ice skating, for the first time, is such a complete wonder and delight.

Of course the word "sacred" rises to the top of the charts this time of year too, and since I've spent lots of time thinking about the ways we use that term in today's world, I'm wondering how each of you find the sacred moments in your lives at Christmas. For me, more and more, it's in the simple moments like writing cards by the fire as a Xmas CD plays; or in music. The recent Vancouver City Lights concert we attended, with both our daughters singing together for the first time, was one of those special times. And more to come...a Blue Moon Christmas night of music and readings (I'll do one too) on Dec. 18, and then the musica intima concert in Christ Church Cathedral on Dec. May music and memories be part of your Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back from "the east"

Hi there,

I'm back from a 12 day trip to the US to see family, and while there was asked to do a reading from Havens at the seniors' housing complex where my Dad lives. I was surprised and pleased when about 35 people attended the event, and when I asked people where their sacred places were, we had some fascinating responses like:

...the battlefield cemeteries of WW 2. A woman from Britain said those fields of crosses affected her more than any other losses she heard about during the war.

...entering the Mormon Tabernacle in Utah. A woman said the feeling there was overwhelming, even though she was not a Mormon.

...standing looking at a starry sky on a clear night.

...riding horseback beside my daughter across the range

...being under the big desert sky in the Southwest

I loved listening as people talked, and those continue to be some of my favourite moments since the book came out. Do let me know if you have a place to share.
I was also interviewed recently by a writer for the Edmonton Sun for her column on Sacred Spaces and the results of that should be in her Dec. 7 column. Stay tuned!