Looking up

Hello! I'm waving to you from the wintry north, happily hunkered down with our little family in a cabin in the woods--which completely makes up for all the flight delays (including one particularly deflating 24-hour delay) on our journey here. And I ran into my brother Chris in the LA airport of all places! Neither of us knew the other was traveling that day...such a happy serendipity.

Anyway, here we are. We have been making the rounds--catching up with family, unpacking, stocking up, and doing holiday things. No Christmas tree yet, no decorations, and a significant amount of shopping still to be achieved. In the midst of that bustle, I was reminded of something I wrote a few years ago and decided to look it up and post it here, mostly to nudge myself to try to take a deep breath, relax the grip on the to-do lists, and enjoy it. 

 Pieter Brueghel, The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Brueghel, The Census at Bethlehem

See that woman in the middle?
The one alone
With the white hat and broom
Head down, sweeping
Or digging, maybe.
That has been me.
Focused on the depth of snow in front of me
And my need to dig out.

Oblivious
To the boisterous gathering over there
And to the snow-stuck wagon behind me,
Where my broom could be put to better use.
Unaware of the simple miracle
Of a young woman on a horse,
Almost hidden by winter clothing
And seeking a place,
The holy significance lost in favor of
Bristles and snow.

I’m putting down the broom
And looking up.
Join me?

. . .

It’s easy to get caught up in the “doingness” of the season. What are your traps that prevent you from experiencing what Christmas has to offer? Is there a certain work of art, literature, or music that is especially speaking to you this season?