Once, in a wishing, bewitching, spell-blinding season like this, in our very own
castle on a hill, behind ivy thick walls and iron gates that kept evil out and pets and children and wishes close at hand, we thought we lived a great life then, measuring time and love by the empty boxes piled outside on trash days.
In fact, our trash bin was the only thing that told neighbors and thieves that we lived here, behind the gates, the ivy, the heavy curtains.
I recognized my neighbors with a hand wave as I drove by their places, neither of us knowing the name of the other. I only learned their names after an earthquake caused us to borrow flashlights and bread from each other, take turns figuring out how to shut off the gas lines.
Once, after we had just arrived, we invited people from our neighborhood and our work places to a holiday open house. Only one couple showed up.
Soon, we too stopped trying to meet new people. All we had time to do was work, and on the weekend, get everything organized so we could return to work.
Now and then, we'd sneak in a dark movie theater for a couple of hours on a grey day, munch on popcorn, sip on a coke, and escape the numbing routine. For those two hours, whatever was on the screen became our real lives. Friends shared laughter; family got together, issues resolved.
And because of such lives, all punctuated by work and work, we look at this season of wishes as a respite on a great hike. We wish more for ourselves and our families. We wish to hold hands with each other, comfort each other.
This is the season of faithful moments, times when we pause and call on anything and everything that is dear to us, bigger than us, more luminous than us to help us make deep connections.
Happy Holidays, wherever you are. Rejoice.