Wednesday, December 26, 2012


"They said there'll be snow at Christmas. They said there'll be peace on Earth. Hallelujah, Noel, be it heaven or hell, the Christmas you get you deserve."
- Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

In this week leading up to Christmas, I have reflected upon this most peculiar holiday. Automated emails frantically implore me to buy now, while there is still time to ship for Christmas.
Here the frenetic, nightmarish rush does not exist. In La Fortuna there is a parade, with xylophone and drum marching bands playing mixed medleys of popular, Christmas, and Hanukkah music. Small towns and small boys feature fireworks displays commensurate to their stature. A few lights, smiles, and general bonhomie mark this relaxed, peaceful day and its lead up.
I had wondered how I would withstand rejection this year of the commercial heaven-and-hell metaphor, "Miracle on 34th St," and Scrooge. Questioning commercial Christmas seemed almost more blasphemous than questioning religious Christmas. And yet, far from feeling guilty, I spent the Christmas holiday relaxed and in communication with the beauty and peace of nature.
For, after all, this holiday - through whatever religious or secular lens it is viewed - is really about the return of light and reversal of darkness. It is not something to be confined to a day or corrupted by corporate interest. The solstice is a return of physical light, and as well a metaphor for the return of inner light and peace, balance and harmony, in our relationship with ourself, our friends and family, and our fellow travelers both human and non aboard this beautiful tilted blue gem.

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