Friday, December 19, 2014

"I love that guy..."

The real story comes from a love-source that cannot be understood with the intellect... Mark Nepo

My granddaughter paused in the hallway on her way out the door.  We had just put up some Christmas decorations. There, newly unwrapped for this year, was the foot-high Santa standing on the hall chest. She fingered his beard, his red velvet coat and then took her time feeling all the little presents sticking out his pockets. Gazing for as long as a four year old gazes, she finally looks sideways at me and states, almost solemnly, "I love that guy." And from her look, I knew she meant it down to her little toes. Her face reveling she has entered that place of wonder and love.

Earlier, she and her brother unwrapped the manger scene for the mantle. They know they have to be very, very careful as Jesus slipped from smaller fingers last year. We would have lost him if he hadn't bounced on the floor. They reverently, as reverently as enthusiastic four and six years olds can be, handle each figure -- the cow, one-eared donkey, three kings, shepherds, and the baby Jesus. This year a thumb is off one of the kings and the shepherd has lost a fore-finger. Yet somehow none of this matters.

However, a problem presents itself. The cow might be my grandson's favorite, yet it's Jesus's head, not the cow's they both want the light to shimmer over.  Unfortunately, it keeps falling in the hay. "Grandma, we need a prop." he states. A little candy box lies empty on the coffee table. Presto, he is down off the stool. Now the "star" shines securely over Jesus's head (see low). Even the Smarties box does not feel irreverent -- any more than a Christ Child does, born on hay with munching cows.

Thinking I might add a little depth of meaning to the events, my grandson quickly assures me, "I know." Hmm, maybe better than I as they both have the feeling, the whispered hush, the sparkling Christmas lights shining out their eyes and fingertips. Does it matter whether it is Jesus, a Christ Child, Buddha, or whoever my granddaughter is loving in the red suit? I don't think so. What matters is they feel this story is in some magical way, theirs.

They both know the one inch presents in Santa's pockets in the hallway are empty and the seemingly inanimate manger scene is far from perfect. Jesus's birthday is three weeks away, so this exuberance is not about something under the tree. Watching them I think, where are my feelings? Where is my excitement, my joy de vive, where can I hardly contain myself with true aliveness? I know I don't love the guy in the red suit. I am too logical. Plus, my feelings get lazy and some get "killed off" by thought: "Oh, Christmas is just for children." or "Yes, Augusta (Virginia) there is no Santa Claus."

However, I also know our deepest feelings are the lodestar that weds us to each other and the magic of the larger story. When Christmas is born in us, we are re-born in that love-source that can be known only as a person is known.* Now the lights from the tree twinkle as I walk by.  If I squint I see the beautiful prism rays that are us if we could see, energetically. When I let them play on my irises, then glance up at the mantle, there we all are -- wise women and men, birthing new Babes of our own, new insights, new behaviors as we follow our Star. And the air is alive with the kindnesses and goodness that shower us every day. 

We radiate a heart-hum. It doesn't matter if the grands have to do "time-out" for eating the candy they were told not too. Nor doesn't it matter how many mistakes I make, how many friends I have lost this year. In great sadness is great love, in our anger is our wounded-ness and our healing. The story is always larger than we think, always larger than our emotions, always larger than the hay in the manger or the empty Smarties box that is upholding the light.

* Mark Nepo
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