This year Christmas Day coincided with a full moon. This only happens every 15 years or so. I remember seeing that at the beginning of the month and thinking– this is going to be a good one! I love the ease that comes when things align and so I felt assured, promised that the day would be one of great love, with joy overflowing every interaction. I watched the moon as it filled and I was filled with hope for what was on its way.
On Christmas Eve, after picking up the last pieces for the few gifts I would be giving, I had enough time to walk into the church that is at the city’s center of my husband’s hometown, an old Dutch town. As I walked towards the entrance I began to notice how tired I was, preoccupied with a feeling of dissatisfaction, agitated from the mounting expectation. As I walked through the threshold a yearning welled up within me– I didn’t want to wait any longer for the great love. Why was I holding back, why was I on pause? I wanted it not tomorrow, but right then. So I sat there, in the glory of that place, and moved into communion. There was no outer acknowledgement- no fireworks, no recognition from others- but the shift on my outlook meant the world to me.
Christmas Day could have rolled out like any other and I think I could have easily let it pass by without having tapped into the great love. Because it wasn’t going to run me over, it wasn’t going to slap me in the face– not this time at least. It was up to me whether or not I received it’s gifts. At every moment it was there for me to open to and align with. The great love was, and always is, present. It is the breath of life in every moment. It can be obscured and it can be denied, but it is never absent. We can wait for it all the days of our lives, holding out for what seems written in the stars. Or we can become present to it as it is, right here and now.
The planning we do brings us together in time and space, but if the plans themselves are the extent of our joy it is like building places of worship but never entering them. It is a practice to be with one another- to listen, to see through to the inherent joy of being together. And to realize this love, present in each gesture, requires us to step into the presence of our own hearts.
This Christmas was a good one! Here are a few pictures from my trip in Holland: