Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

From Samhain to Solstice

Spirit energy is thick in the days between Samhain and the Winter Solstice. I refer to it as the Fallow Time, when things are stilling and resting and the restless spirit lies just beyond the next breath. Spirit world isn’t something that opens to us one night a year. It’s always there. Only sometimes we don’t see it and sometimes we do.
It doesn’t surprise me that Dickens found himself inspired to write a story about ghosts haunting a miserly man at the holidays. I feel them more strongly at Solstice than at Samhain. I know I’m not alone.
Every year, I write out holiday cards to friends who celebrate Christmas, Yule, Solstice, Hanukkah, and some who don’t celebrate anything in particular, but the joy and humanity of the season. They are living ghosts, mostly people I do not see often or haven’t seen in the decade since my move. The cards are my way of reaching out to those who are important to where I have been and who I have become. It’s my way of telling them I still carry them in my heart.
While I fill out the holiday cards I reflect on those who are in my web and the changes in their lives since last year. Three of my beloved families are celebrating their first holiday with a new child. So much love! I have five changes of address this year of people who settled into their own homes for the first time. So much joy!
And where there is light, there is always shadow. I discovered a family friend had passed when his name was left off a card I received. I had known he was sick, but didn’t realize he was gone. Blessing or not, I will hold that sadness gently this holiday.
As I filled out a card to my Grandma, there was a bittersweet moment where I left my Grandpa’s name off, and I paused. He passed this last spring. I remember how frail and bird-like my Grandma seemed when I saw her in July and my heart is heavy for her and how she will experience the holidays this year.
I feel the memories of every holiday that has happened in my life overlaid in song, as if the ghostly echoes of each one plays out overtop the other... knocking on the table during scat with Grandparents after family dinner... singing carols for other Grandparents’ drunk friends... driving around to look at holiday lights... the reveal of the Christmas tree in the morning, like a flip book, as year after year unveils...
It is happening to me and it has already happened. Is that not the definition of a ghost? A spectre that you see, that cannot be because it has already been? I am everything I was and who I was is why I am who I am.
Only I am no bitter miser. I see Scrooge’s Marley visitation and I raise him the Christmas orange that vividly puts flesh on the ghostly spirit of my Grandpa Dick’s. Each Christmas morning, we would be peeling and eating them when he arrived, waiting for him so we could open our presents. A ghost brought to life with bits of my memory and a gallon of love left behind. I think of all the years as I crochet at my desk, feeling the familiar weight of a cat on my lap who cannot be there because she has been dead for four years.
At this time of year, and always, I accept what I experience as true because what else can I do? I allow my thoughts to drift to those who are no longer with me because at the holidays it’s easier for me to remember the joy of the lives that touched mine over the sorrow of their absence. So I truly cherish it. The sound of my Grandpa’s chuckle and my Grandma’s giggle warm my heart and I bid them to sit in my kitchen, in my home.
Come Yule, I will leave a glass of spiced wine for my friend who passed, an annual gift he loved. And on Christmas morning I will leave out a cinnamon bun and a cup of coffee for my Grandpa. I will take the sadness I feel for those I wish were alive still and transform the sorrow into love, for the only true answer to sorrow is love.

I mean, what if everyone fed their love into the holiday season this year? What if everyone in the world shared love and joy and good will to all men?  I will sit with the spirits and pray for peace and I will gift the world my love and joy, in honor of those who can no longer do so.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful read.I feel this way when I address my cards.Going through my address book, noting those who are no longer with me. Either because they have passed on into time and eternity or their time in my life has passed.Tis bittersweet this holiday time. Thank you for sharing.


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