Christmas is fast approaching amid the parties, the
present buying, the commercialism, until finally we will come to the day when the world stops: well for most of us in the western world that is.
Christmas Day is a day off, a day off work, from the business of life, from the
demands of the telephone, from expectations of others, from the fears of not
being good enough, fears of being judged by others and all the other inadequate
feelings that life brings up. Christmas Day offers us a whole day to focus on what
really matters, we travel many miles to get there, to return home to our loved
ones who love us despite really knowing us!
I was recently speaking with a woman who had, just a
couple of days previously, completed a second round of climbing all the Munros
in Scotland. Undoubtably a huge achievement. As we spoke she shared how walking
and climbing in the hills and mountains is a metaphor for life. How the light
constantly changes, how the weather affects the journey, how it is never ever
the same walk twice. Yet, throughout all no matter how deep the cloud layer
was, even when feet were not visible she knew the mountain was there beneath
her. The reverence and respect with which she spoke of the hills transformed
them from mere mounds of rock and earth to a secure, sacred anchor on which she
If the mountains are one manifestation of the
sacred, it struck me that , like God, they are always there and we relate to
them depending where we are on our spiritual journey. They are there as
adrenaline-gods, to be ascended with the sole purpose of catapulting oneself
off a precipice to descend at velocity for the rush of adrenaline, a surge of
'feeling alive'. They are there to be climbed as the challenge between man and
nature when we need to win. They are there to be bagged as we compete with
ourself and others. The mountains are also there to be appreciated, to be in
awe of, to be walked in reverence, regarded as a sacred space in a chaotic
In seeing some of the photos of the day most
included friends. I was struck by
this woman's relationship with the mountains and
hills, truly a spiritual relationship and what better way to celebrate her
achievement than to ascend the final Munro surrounded by friends who share her
belief. To celebrate and worship together in her own glorious cathedral.
Today, tomorrow, one day soon have a look up to the
mountains or wherever is special for you and remind yourself of what it means to you..... Happy musings
need is love…..
at that time of year that can be highly stressful, deeply challenging, frantic,
frenetic and slightly bonkers…and that is just in planning the menu! Add to this the buying, writing and sending
of cards, the agony of selecting the right gift, the tact and diplomacy of who
to invite and when and the only outcome can be stress and a wee trip to the
divorce lawyers in the New Year.
many the reason behind Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ has become diluted and could just be seen as
an orgy of wanton materialism. Yet, below the surface lurks a deeper yearning, a desire to return home.
Home here on earth to our families and where we came from, allowing us to
remember who we are and not who we might have become in order to survive. Home,
is where they know us and we know them. Home is a place where it is safe to be yourself hence
so much bickering, it takes a strong relationship to survive arguments and disagreements
and there is something about families that allows this. Maybe this year it is
time to forget the perfect cake or glazing on the turkey and remember the
wonder of our families; to smile at their foibles and laugh at jokes we have
heard a hundred times. Maybe this year we can forget form and focus on content.
These people, our families know the real `us` and still love us. Maybe now is
the time to extend the hand of unconditional love and acceptance to all
around. Maybe Christ-love is born anew
in our hearts and our homes this Christmas and
we will see Love in everyone .
This week is Loneliness Awareness Week
offering us a chance to explore the many diverse ways loneliness is
experienced. With a third of the population living alone it might be thought
that here is where all loneliness dwells. Yet in listening to some of the
programs and phone-ins on the subject it becomes apparent that this is not the
case. One person reflected that there is no loneliness like being in an unhappy
marriage. Another mentioned a very full life, yet was still experiencing a deep
sense of isolation.