Saturday, December 28, 2013

Love, Sweet Love

Ah, Christmas. There is no substitute for spending the holidays with family. There is no true substitute for family, however we may define it. In the days before Christmas and through the holiday, I thought a lot about love and what love means. I remembered holidays past, and people I’ve known and love – including, of course, my wonderful parents, givers of life. Flashes of memory ran through my mind as I drove toward the coast – memories of when we were children, the excitement of the holiday as we trimmed the spindly tree and thought of that land far away which was our “home,” where others were celebrating the holiday perhaps in snow or with Christmas Eve services and caroling and shopping and sharing all kinds of traditions. Our families had shopped for presents and mailed them at least six weeks early in hopes of the gifts arriving between the US and Nigeria “on time.” My brother was a child enchanted by the idea of Christmas, and gifts wrapped so beautifully, awaiting the unveiling on Christmas morning. He tiptoed around the tree, studying the presents and shaking many of them, thinking so intently about them and what they might hold. He was left with a profound impression of how much stuff there was and how many have so little.

As generations grow and change, such memories bring such pleasure as new ones are added and build upon one another – intertwining and stacking with beauty and care in the same way the gifts do, awaiting unveiling.

Making memories as we share each other’s company, getting a glimpse into each other’s lives as we honor the year’s passing and the new year beginning. “This is where we are now,” we say, silently.  “Isn’t it amazing!”

What each life means. My six-year-old niece, so full of joy, is a gift to me too, each time I am in her presence – as all children are.  I am reminded of the pure joy of being, and the happiness that is our true birthright. We share what is ours, if we truly enjoy life and appreciate what it means to give and receive, and love grows. Love is how we are designed to live and to grow, together, whether in physical presence or not. The energy of who we are, as love, lingers and lives, throughout the days, nights, throughout the year, until we meet again and whenever we meet, whomever we meet and become, if we are willing to accept it and share it.  Honoring (living) love as our greatest birthright and tradition is the greatest gift I can imagine. Choosing to love satisfies our soul and spirit like nothing else too. This may seem obvious, but what is obvious to me is what the world needs now is love, sweet love. Knowledge of the truth of love is an eternal gift to any mind.

Last night we watched a 2012 recording of the awarding of the Gershwin Prize to Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Among other wonderful performances, the program included Bacharach singing What The World Needs Now. A perfect tribute, and true always.

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