At 11:35 this morning (my time) the Earth passes through the Winter Solstice; our planet's axis aligns so the southern point is as close to the sun as it will be this year. For the next 6 months, daylit hours get longer. I can hardly wait.
Have we passed through humanity's long-dark solstice, yet? Where does your light shine? Do we celebrate our relationships more than our things? I can hardly wait (even more).
I rented a ladder at Home Depot. The person helping me began our transaction by berating me: "What're you doin' sneakin' up on me? Who are you, to make me work?" I didn't rise to the bait. Instead, I treated him the way I'd like to be treated. Pretty soon, it was as if we were old friends and he began telling me all about his ex-wife and their 4-year-old boy. This boy is getting an Xbox from his mother for Christmas. He was going to get a bicycle from his father, but the ex-wife said no and so my new friend is going to go buy a stack of games for the new game console. Some of which are not rated for a 4-year-old.
The father is pretty distressed about the whole situation. He wishes he could spend more time with his son. He's in solstice. A bicycle is maybe a bit much for a small child, but it's a connective gift. Someone has to teach you how to ride it. Connective gifts celebrate our relationships, and create more light. I hope this man finds the strength to keep trying.
My son knows about celebrating relationships. When he gets money, he buys things for people to share: a box of pospicles on a hot day, packages of cake mix in the holiday season. He organizes video-game days with two or three friends. They play inside for a bit, then run around outside for a bit. He once bought father and son matching Super-Soaker water toys-- I can't think of how you could play with one of those by yourself. I suppose I could squirt myself. But that doesn't sound like much fun.
Caitlan knows this life skill too. She makes wonderful gifts for people. She often tosses them off like tain't no big thing, but they are quite beautiful.
This holiday season, this Solstice, I hope each of us takes some time to celebrate the people in our lives. Share a phone call, a photo, a glass of wine, make a commitment to walk on the beach or explore a new part of town.
The world doesn't need more game consoles. It needs us to bring light to each other. Share the gift of yourself.