As the people who want to hold on the the season cling to their trees and lights for one last weekend, we are down to the final four poems in this series. And speaking of light, this is a true story about remembering to reach for the light whenever you feel darkness closing in. It's always there for the embracing.
You will recall that as we prepared to end the Bush years, things in general were "not good." Doing a superb job of amplifying this tone was the media, essentially more "gloomy and doomy" than ever. Even in the midst of the holiday season, the inky blackness of despair was pervasive. I had to leave the house and take a ride just to get away from it, trying to clear my heart and soul.
Imagine my wonderment when in literally two short minutes, I was on the main street of my home town of Bordentown, NJ. The small square housing the city Christmas tree was as beautiful as I have ever witnessed and the street decorations and shop windows just shimmered and shone. I parked and walked around town for a good hour, feeling at peace as I simply took it all in.
The inspiration for the poem came together in an instant. I swiftly returned home to grab my camera, shooting many pictures to capture the mood. The poem then was written within an hour that very same night. To me, it still rings true even three years later.
Seasons whirl by in a neverending dance
As the only true constant is change.
So considering life’s rhythms, its ebbs and flows,
The certainty of Christmas is strange!
But come again it had like an old trusted friend
With habits and traditions to bemuse.
I snugged into my chair and snapped on the set
And that’s when they started the news.
All-time lows, forecasts of doom,
Realities of fortune gone bad.
Each negative word invaded my soul
And sapped all the spirit I had.
Worries, doubts and litanies of fear
Clouded my sight and my mind.
Unable to stand it, I walked out the door
Seeking any comfort I might find.
I walked into town on this wintery night
For relief from this role call of strife
When suddenly a scene so perfect appeared
Or was this really a wonderful life?
A tree as grand as I’ve ever beheld
Blazed in our little town square
With a heralding angel shining brightly above
Beaming her light everywhere.
Each shop window gleamed from the effort
Of decorating done “just right.”
The love and care taken was a beacon
Of an answer hidden in plain sight.
No matter what happens, look for the good.
Let everything else have its way.
What you search for you find and bring into your life
So call forth the best Christmas day.
December 2008 doings:
2nd - Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigns after the 2008 Thailand political crisis.
5th - Human remains previously found in 1991 are finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II.
8th - Kirsty Williams elected as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The first female leader of a political party in Wales.
9th - The Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, is arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama's election to the Presidency..
11th - Bernard Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud in $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
14th - President George W. Bush made his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and almost got struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad.
28th - The Detroit Lions finished the season 0-16 with a 31-21 lost to the Green Bay Packers The first time in National Football League history that a team went winless in a 16-game season.