This year it is a tiny 3-foot real tree (some sort of pine) for me. The time has come and gone when I had incredible big trees that reached to the top of a tall ceiling. Now it is a tiny, tiny tree for me, but I'm happy to have it just the same. It brings me joy. There are no lights on the tree. It was so tiny, I could see disaster on the horizon with the added weight of lights. The tiny tree with no lights is appropriate, too, as Christmas has lost a bit of the "shine" of Christmases past. It just isn't the same. But I keep on going through the motions...because I must. It really is necessary in order to reclaim remnants of joy along the way.
I was reminded of the joy of "Christmas Changes" in my life as I decorated this tiny tree (found it at Kroger for $20, but it works). While I was decorating, I was "opened" to a profound idea for me during the holidays. I have a second cousin who was a female glass-blower about ten years ago. Bill and I purchased several of her artistic products, and I love them. They remind me of her, but they are also a unique art pursued by only a few. One of the ornaments slid out of my hand, hit the floor, and broke into millions of pieces. I was so sad, as this cousin started her family and is no longer in the glass-blowing profession. Thankfully, I have other decorations she has made. So...I went to find a broom...get the big pieces and the tiny shards of glass on a piece of cardboard...but as I looked at the broken glass, something hit me. Even in the brokenness, there was a brilliance to all of those tiny, tiny pieces. They were really beautiful. Even though I couldn't begin to put the ornament back together again, everything that had gone together to create the beauty of a Christmas ornament was still there, bringing beauty in brokenness. That was a lesson to me. The beauty I had once found in life has been transformed into "something else." My choices now are to find beauty in memories, to support all of those for whom this season is delightful, and to do my best to find joy in memories and "things" that have brought me joy for many years.
Things like these little guys...
Music brings me joy. Writing music brings me joy. I focus on the beauty of the music within...the music I seek to bring forth every day of my life.
Music has helped in my emotional healing through listening, creating, focusing my mind, and helping me sing again. The sounds and silences were wonderful in the healing process. I don't think I ever knew how to appreciate silence around me until it was needed for recovery. The music did not beg to be written. It was a gentle all-knowing nudge that introduced itself to me when I was ready to receive it.
So...the basic idea: Find happy "things" with happy memories, (places and people who were present during the darkness) and new places and people who have become a part of your journey...walking through this holiday season as friends and loved ones who care.
Look for the beauty. Look for the joy. Look for the "shine" in the brokenness, and sing!