Sunday, December 19, 2010

Season of Miracles

© Michael Beckerman |

I’ve always loved the Christmas season because it’s a time for awe and wonder. If Thanksgiving is for gratitude, Christmas is for miracles, magic, and the suspension of ordinary reality (not that any reality is really ordinary, anyway). But this season is rife with high drama—whether you take the Christmas story literally or not. The Three Kings, the manger scene, the angels, the star, and so on. And then, on the commercial side of the event, there’s Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, elves, reindeer, and all of that. Chanukah is rife with miracle stuff, too, so unless you’re a total grinch, it’s really hard to get through December without giving a nod to the miraculous.
            I know there are plenty of people (even in my own family) who complain that this season is just a big excuse for malls to stay open late. And while I agree that the present-buying mania has gotten a bit out of hand, I still think it’s useful to set aside a time just to say, “Wow.”  And I don’t mean, “Wow! This is an awesome robe from Nordstrom’s!” either. I mean, Wow, isn’t it amazing that all these years later we’re still repeating the story of Christ’s birth, and we’re still aware—whether we believe in every detail of this particular story or not—that there is something greater and wiser than we running the show here.
            This week I learned of several events that reminded me of the miracles in every day. A friend of mine just happened to be five minutes down the road when her spouse was injured in a city across the river from their home and was able to swiftly come to his aid. Another pal learned that he had to spend time with a fellow he’s been feuding with—his company “unwittingly” threw the two together so that now they must work out their differences. My kids all got home safely for the holidays from far-flung places. I returned a book to a friend who—unbeknownst to me-- needed that book on that very day. Two bald eagles I’ve been awaiting—last seen a year ago at this time--suddenly appeared in a tree overhead. The list goes on.
            I do feel awe and wonder when I think of how life works. And in this holiday season I’m reminded that whatever one believes, the very fact that there is such a thing as a capacity for believing is a blessing. This time of year is for belief, trust, and amazement. Some might accuse me of being a little “woo-woo” about things, but that’s okay. “Woo-woo” is very close to “Wow! Wow!” in my opinion.
Happy Holidays to all!

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