I feel deeply blessed, for I have had the opportunity to learn from, and work with, shamans and healers from many traditions and parts of the world. At the center of their practices and lives is the necessity of speaking up for those who have lost voice, including the Earth; feeding, clothing, and educating those who cannot do so for themselves; and awakening joy in oneself and those whose lives we touch. They showed me that kindness, gratitude, and Joy are the sacred heart of living and healing. I am profoundly grateful.
We are now just a couple of days from the Solstice and less than a week from Christmas. Soon, this period of watchful expectancy will be over. Joy awaits!
For the moment, there remains the waiting.
In childhood we learn to live with anticipation; hopefully, with practice, we become patient, although this morning I show no sign of having learned that skill. This season is rooted in anticipation. Hanukkah and Christmas spark wonder as we recollect miracles, and look forward to a time when all people will live joyous lives, free of tyranny. At Hanukkah we tell the story of a miracle of light in a period of anxious waiting. At Christmastide we remember that Israel longed for a redeemer at the time Jesus was born. For two thousand years Christians have watched for Jesus’ return, and the restoration of a just and humane world. People throughout the northern latitudes await the Solstice and the return of the light. Surely this hunger for light, freedom, and justice lies at the human heart of history.
Still, I am reminded how easily we forget our own histories of suffering when we are free. Yet none are truly free until all are; joy and real freedom dance hand in hand.
As we approach the coming of the new light, I wish you health, happiness, and great joy, wherever the Creator, Ancestors, and spirits take you, this holy season and in the year to come.