Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas/Chanukah Beauty

I'm celebrating the artistry of God; how magical is His creation.  Today as I was walking a hiking trail I found a long patch of wild lavender and the aroma swept me away.  I wanted to lie down in it (the bees may not have apreciated that. haha)  Lavender not only has the sweet purple blooms, but the delicious calming aroma.  Just breathing in the lavender was like taking a journey into a place of sweet peace.  Then as I walked further I found wild fennel and wild rosemary.  I plucked a couple sprigs of rosemary and leaves of fennel and hiked carrying them under my nose breathing in their pungent freshness like someone intoxicated.  Even the scrub and the cactii seemed to glow in the shards of light between the barren branches of trees surrounding the trail.  I like hiking hills because I like the workout, but the real thrill is the splay of sun on my face, the perfumes of the wild, the sound of birds, wind and silence-- and the solitude with God.  The trail is my sanctuary. 

But then I could say wherever I am is my sanctuary-- the writing studio, the easel, the car, the gym, wherever, because where we are, God is, right?  Right.  How blessed we are to be able to tap into His wonders and experience His creation.

Of course, we're all stunned it's already the Christmas season, and you should see the decorations and lights on the homes around here.  Lighted reindeer with bobbing heads, giant blow-up snow men, forests of lighted plastic Christmas trees, santas on roofs, lights dripping from every eave and window ledge; singing mailboxes, oh it's a wonder.  Me, I usually get into the spirit with a wreath on the door, pointsettas on the steps, but it always seems the Christmas season happens when I'm in the middle of a writing deadline or else in the throes of school finals, and it takes me a while to get into the mode.  I love Jesus 365 days a year, and celebrate the glory and beauty of His birth 365 days a year, but Christmas involves a ton more  responsibilities and work, doesn't it?  I look forward to the day when December shows up on the calendar and I don't have a thing to do all month except prepare for, and enjoy Christmas (in another lifetime, right?).
Have you ever found yourself still shopping on Christmas Eve?  And then, don't forget Chanukah, December 1-9.  We light the first candles on Day One.  This is such a wonderful holy time, so much less stressful, and so beautiful.  We sing, we play the dreidel, we give gelt to the children (so they learn how give) and we dance-- and we EAT.  Oi vay, we eat very oily food, and also dairy food. 

I'd love to hear how you handle this season; I mean the stress of it.  Do you recognize Chanukah?  Ae you ready for Santa?  How is Jesus (Yeshua) treating you?  I'm sending you sweet peace and love--