|A favorite ornament, handmade in Germany.|
It’s a beautiful, chilly, quiet morning on Historic Hill. Out the window to my right is blue sky, with the tall white steeple of Trinity Church in the distance. In the foreground, colorful little clapboard colonial houses of varying heights. And then there’s Touro Synagogue, right below my third story window. I’m about to meditate, and this will be my view.
My hope is that 10 minutes of sitting will calm my rattled nerves. I’d hoped a good night of sleep would settle them, but that didn’t happen. I tossed and turned last night – thought about nothing and everything. Anxiety about nothing. Anxiety about everything. I’m sure you understand. I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles a bit with the demands of this holiday.
Despite feeling this way, I’m looking forward to today. I like the bustle of Christmas eve. After a few quick errands this morning, I’ll be helping out at Newport Wine Cellar and Le Petit Gourmet. Friends and customers that I adore will come by, and it will be a joy to see them. It will be busy, of course, but fun. And after that I’ll see my family for dinner. I haven’t seen my little nephews in far too long, and can’t wait to get silly with them.
Rattled nerves won’t keep me from enjoying Christmas, or from meditating on what it has come to mean to me. My ideas about it evolve a little more each year. I’ve unplugged from the things I don’t like about it, and have learned to focus on the things about it that I love.
I’m also ever aware of how painful this time can be for people who are grieving. All those expectations of “love and joy” sting like a slap to the face when a source of love and joy is taken from you. Of course I’m thinking of those families in Connecticut. Who isn’t?
I know this all sounds a bit melancholy. But the holidays are complicated for so many of us. I’m trying to acknowledge that. Trying not to turn away from that fact. Trying to embrace it, and bear witness to it.
The sun is a little higher in the sky now, and the bustle is starting. More cars are driving up and down Touro Street, and I see people walking into town to shop. I should probably be doing the same, but wanted to wish you all a happy holiday first. I wish you love and joy. And I hope that with each hug from a old friend or family member, any stress or sadness you may be carrying around fades into the background for a little while.
More Food, Less Pain,