24 December 2010

Blessings of the season

Winter is here, Christmas is here, and half of us are isolated from the others by snow and ice. But the cardamom bread and holiday pies are baking, and the lights are bright. After the spectacular lunar eclipse four days ago, we have had the best light show of all.

This season's most eloquent message was sent in by Tartan Girl. There is no way to improve on it, except to add our favorite holiday song. From our homes to yours...

"Even though we're flung far from each other this year, I thought it might be good to share a story and a couple of carols that are particular favorites of mine. Perhaps I feel a little like Mole this year, but perhaps you'll forgive a sentimental girl whose child's heart has always looked more for the quiet hope and promise of Christmas Eve--perhaps you'll understand why you are the anchorage in my existence, a place all my own that I can turn to......"

"The weary Mole also was glad to turn in without delay, and soon had his head on his pillow, in great joy and contentment. But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him, and now smilingly received him back, without rancour. He was now in just the frame of mind that the tactful Rat had quietly worked to bring about in him. He saw clearly how plain and simple—how narrow, even—it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to; this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome."
--Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows: Chapter V: Dulce Domum

Welcome, Christmas

Welcome, Christmas, come this way,
Welcome, Christmas, Christmas Day

Welcome, Christmas, bring your light,
Welcome, Christmas, in the cold, dark night

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer,
Cheer to all Whos far and near.

Christmas Day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp.

Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.

Welcome, Christmas, while we stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand.

--Theodore Geisel

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