I want to wish anyone who reads this a Christmas that will be real, deep, and grounded in a joy that can't be taken away. When you look at the first Christmas, it was a hard time. Mary was pregnant, dogged by scandal, away from family, the government had forced them to comply with a census decree which meant leaving home, no one would give them shelter (no inns in Bethlehem- the original Greek means guest room), and the Son of God had to push aside animals and waste to be born. We do rejoice because of the overall plan of salvation, redemption, and promise although it was painfully difficult.
It is how I think of this year. I am weary of virtual everything. I am an artist, so I spend a lot of time working alone. Consequently, I need people- breathing, living people. To be forced to be solitary as if I am doing time for a crime I did not commit is ruinous. I comply with all the health guidelines, yet part of me is dying. I have not seen most friends or family since March. They seem ok with that because we have to be "safe". I mourn and grieve for lost time, lost friends, those who are shut and starving emotionally in nursing homes away from family although they get Covid by the droves from employees (don't understand- they all wear masks, PPE), lost incomes, financial disasters for all but Walmart and Target. Church is a ghost town even with masks, distancing, constant cleaning yet the parking lots for Walmart, Target, Aldis are filled to the max. I don't think I will ever recover. Sometimes, I just cry over the loss. Christmas Eve was particularly hard- my husband and I alone eating dinner with Pandora. I think people will like the way it is, just fine, and loneliness will be looked at as a weakness.
I rejoice for what God has done and will do for me. I rejoice for the few that stick with me. I rejoice because I have been given a gift of art to share with those who need its comfort and humaness. But I grieve for the lostness, the vacuous Zoom gatherings, and media bingeing that substitutes for relationships.
Today, Buffalo received a blanket of heavy, wet snow which is how I feel. It has beauty, but is burdensome, fleeting, and icy. The light is leaden and dull. I tried to show my hometown beauty to you.
|Our tree this year is a blue spruce from our yard. It started out as a small live balled tree for our Christmas over 15 years ago. |
It grew too big for our small yard, so the tip top is our Christmas tree one more time.