A few weeks ago, I had a thought that maybe I ‘should’ write a blog during the holiday season or for the new year. But that’s not how this works for me. I can’t somehow decide it’s a good time to write a blog and then turn out something appropriate to the season or the weather or whatever. Usually, a phrase comes to mind and that sets the ideas in motion and all of a sudden, I am writing non-stop until the idea that inspired the phrase is fully developed and, like magic, a blog is written.
Today I was thinking back to the ‘should’ thought, wondering if there is something in new beginnings that I have anything to write; something that hasn’t already been said a million times in a million different ways. What’s true and authentic for me is that Christmas Day (I was raised Christian) and New Year’s Day are each just one more day of my life. It’s not that I don’t feel the excitement; it’s not that I don’t have a deep sense of the sacred associated with this time of year. It’s that the excitement and the holiness of those two days is no more and no less intense than any other day of the year for me.
Some part of every day of my life is spent engaged in my personal spiritual practice. There is never a time when I can’t find a reason for awe and gratitude. When I get in my car to drive the 8 miles from my house to beach, I’m every bit as excited to get there as I was to wake up, at age 5, on Christmas Day and see the presents under the tree. Standing in the surf is a sacred experience for me and I do it often.
As to new beginnings, why wait? I can start anything new at any time I choose. I can start the same things over and over and over again, as many times as I choose, until I reach a goal, learn a skill, find the joy I’m looking for. Resolutions begin with a thought and I have millions of thoughts a day. I choose which ones to act on and which changes, or new beginnings, I want to give my energy to.
And if we are talking about the season, well that happens at least 4 times a year, all year long, even in a place like San Diego. The days lengthen and shorten, different plants bloom and die during the year; trees get fuller and then shed some or all of their leaves. So, celebrating the shortest day of the year and the return of the light is equally as exciting and sacred as celebrating the equinoxes or the longest day of the year and the move toward longer nights.
It’s not cynicism that makes me say Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are each just another day. They are each another glorious, awe-inspiring, joy-filled, day of new beginnings and reasons to be grateful. Do I celebrate them? I feast on them, and on every other day of my life! They are one more item on the Main Meal menu.