December holds steadfast with gray days and no snow to shovel on our doorsteps. Yet the mornings provide a quiet and stillness that evokes winter readiness as we move deeper into the season. The season of darkness creates space for us with its short days, sometimes even leaving us to wander aimlessly around the house or apartment contemplating unnecessary to do’s or to don’ts. Some prefer to ignore these lazy thoughts as they can be, while running, moving, keeping themselves on the go, those thoughts simply pass through the mind blurred. I know about this; I have certainly lived like this at different points in my life. It is messy and leaves us feeling empty at the end of the day; well, speaking for myself.
I imagine many would truly love to experience ‘An Old Fashion Holiday’ in which we stroll leisurely around experiencing the true joy of this magical season.
Slow, slow, slow…. Still, still, still. For the pines show how easy this is, with the northern hemispheres blanketed in white. Though even the grayest times, the sun expresses itself faintly causing a pause in the early afternoons as it has already reached its highest point and will soon fade for its time here now is short. This is where I long for embellishment of snow as for me it is the most decorative detail on land throughout the winter season. My love for this season as well Christmas itself spawns out of a time in my childhood in which we lived in a suburb surrounded by acres of woods. Although it was short lived as we were catapulted into the hustle of the city, the love of snow and the season of winter stayed with me throughout my life. It is these woods, these pines in northern New England that breathe me into stillness, though sometimes it proves hard as we face inward to ourselves, our lives and our thoughts. But it is the mystical aspect of the season in itself that leaves peace dusting our minds and bodies for we become slower and more aware. How beautiful it is to slow ourselves and become aware; aware of our thoughts, our notions, our breaths. These days we are in some ways gifted with internet, as in other ways it is not so good, taking away our moments of experience especially during these winter months. I fumbled across a wondrous video on 'Christmas in Vermont' and was held, even glued to its beauty as it showed white coated mountains with pines all around; holding me with a song, beckoning me to travel its real meaning. I see the writers name and recognize immediately the Scottish poet – Robert Burns. I dig a bit deeper, finding that ‘Auld Lang Syne’ translates to “Old Long Since” in English relating its meaning as “Times Gone By”, and suddenly my thoughts are carried, drifting back to the slower days of my childhood. Of course, it dates me, but my childhood days held no existence of the world-wide Internet, leaving us ignorant unless we opened the large thick heavy books that Britannica provided us for information and meanings of things.
Auld Lang Syne – Robert Burns
Should auld acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot And auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne And surely you'll buy your pint cup! And surely I'll buy mine! And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne
But what if?..... We could simply create once again the simplicity of stillness, being here in the now, in the moment, the exact moment of this season, this Christmas for it is one of the greatest gifts we can give and receive; the gift of the present…. I am left amazed by the beauty and wonder of this season, the magic of the stillness of snow, and the softness of light reflecting through the gray leaving us to nestle near the wood stove or heater melting the cold off our bodies and hands. I say…. Stay cold, experience the sensation first, be aware not to hold long for hypothermia/frost bite does not allow for peace. Stand in the snow if you are one of the lucky ones to have it and look up, look up to the sky and be joyful and wondrous as it dusts your face with peace, tickles your tongue with the sweetness of water, spread your arms like wings as you are being gifted with the “Kiss of the Divine” and the knowledge of Love.