After rereading last week's post, I am amazed at my stunning lack of gratitude. True, I get caught up in the seeming futility of life and wonder what it's all about. But then there are moments like this, sitting in our little library, wrapping paper and bows strewn about on a card table, my daughter home from grad school, reading peacefully on the couch and my husband sketching in the armchair next to the warm fire. Kate's orange tabby walks in and jumps on the couch. Victorian carols waft up from the radio. Through our window, I can see the western sky streaked with lavender and pink. In a few days, our whole family will gather to exchange gifts and love.
I don't want to sound corny by saying this is the meaning of Christmas. Maybe it's that the meaning of Christmas is the meaning of life. You know - family, home and hearth. Something I have to be thankful for every breathing minute of my life. And sometimes I forget. I think of the despairing young man I spoke to this morning. He fears the uncertainty of life, where everything you love and believe in can be snatched from you in a heartbeat. In losing The Way, I felt a small taste of that. Anyone who has experienced loss of any kind, and it's unavoidable in this life, faces that recurring possibility. Loss, birth, life, loss, birth, life and so the cycle goes on. The trick is to live each moment and be grateful for it.
My daughter took a course on happiness and the law last semester and found she scored high on the happiness scale. What distinguished her from her fellow students was and is her capacity for gratitude. She has not had an easy life, caught between the warring factions of post-cult parents. And yet, she is thankful. Thankful to have parents who love her so much to fight over her.
Peace has fallen on our households and the children are grown. We have all moved on. There is so much to be thankful for. May each of you who read my blog (and I'm exceedingly thankful for you and your kind comments) may you have a lovely holiday and have a moment to catch your breath and count the numerous blessings around and in you and the world.