Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 26, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 26, 2004 – I may never eat again. I say this every year after Christmas dinner and at the time I really mean it. The Boxing Day gluttony recovery period is in full swing. I woke up feeling like a “piggie in a blanket”. Imagine filling your cheeks with air – that’s a perfect imitation of my rounded tummy.
Breakfast will be a bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of tea. I like Boxing Day – it’s still officially a holiday, but the hectic pace of yesterday has mercifully been stilled. Presents are open, in use, adorning my body or simply being appreciated. I received some absolutely beautiful gifts this year from friends and family and returned some that were equally pleasing to those I love. It’s sweet to see someone open a present and watch as their face lights up in acknowledgement of the choice I made for them.
Boxing Day is a holiday in Canada. Its history most likely dates back to Britain where it marks the Feasts of St. Stephen – a day when the wealthy classes gave gifts to tradespeople, servants and the poor. Hence the theme of the beautiful Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas”. It may also have been a day when the churches opened their wooden boxes and dispersed the money inside to the poor. Whatever its history, it has become a day of quiet recovery or mad consumerism at the Boxing Day sales – whichever is one’s particular bent. I choose the former. I like to sit and read, listen to music, call friends, continue my year end reflection and be quiet.
I just called Dorothy and Eric to thank them for a beautiful evening last night. Dorothy is busy cooking for tonight’s Boxing Day dinner and chatting with her Aunt Heidi who is visiting from Wakefield. Eric is still snuggling in bed with the pussy cats. I’ll be going over there again tonight to share the evening with them. I am welcomed and well loved in that household.
Understanding the gift of love – both the giving and receiving of it, is one of the most important things we ever undertake in life. No part of this is more important than the growth of self-love. Without it, we are doomed to live with an underlying despair, never really accepting ourselves as we are. So when love is extended to you – simply accept it, return it and give thanks. When you see love in the eyes of others, let it be the start of loving yourself. One of the miracles of life, is that it is never too late to change and grow.
I spent some time this afternoon reading a book that I received for Christmas entitled “Expect Nothing”. It is a wise treatise based on Buddhist philosophy. When I finished it, I felt compelled to re-read “Awakening The Buddhist Heart”. My friend Martin recommended it to me more than a year ago. I perused it then, but a lot has happened in my life over the last year and I want to read it again slowly and with a different level of concentration and appreciation.
As I’ve gotten older, I have become convinced of the truth that everything we need to know already exists within the wisdom in our minds, the love in our hearts and the truth in our souls. The successful mining of these treasures allows us to live fully and love well.
I’ve just returned from Boxing Day dinner, having dined on a feast of ham, potatoes, vegetables, salad and dessert. This is almost the last of the holiday dinners and I’m more than ready to return to a program of sensible eating – lighter foods and more fresh fruit. This is in keeping with my year end resolve to have this coming year be my healthiest ever – physically, emotionally and spiritually. I want to approach it with an open heart and an open mind and a willingness to trust my instincts. I’m tired of fighting the current, it’s time to let the flow of life carry me forward.
As I sat at dinner tonight, I looked at the people around the table, each with his or her own story, problems, complications, joys and sorrows. I’m glad to be living the life God has given me. There are times when things aren’t easy, but I know the lay of the land now and I can confront the challenges that are ahead of me. The biggest one for me is opening up my closed down heart. I need to be receptive and willing to trust myself and others.
Facing fear stops it in its tracks and there is no difficulty that faith can’t conquer. The holidays are the perfect venue to rest, relax and put one’s life into perspective. Pick anything that you want to work on and move forward at your own pace. Don’t be sidetracked by anyone else.
With enough commitment, care, faith and love you’ll find that you can indeed move mountains and stare down the most troublesome of your personal demons. I’m looking forward to the challenge this year as I face my fears and start to move with the current of my life, not against it.