Thursday, November 27, 2014

In the middle

I can understand the nerves that become frayed as holidays ramp up. There is a strange conflict wherein dark days and cold wind call us to cuddle up inside, but the holiday season asks us to come to be busy and socialize. I really am looking forward to holidays parties, getting dressed up in fancy outfits, sharing big family dinners, making Christmas crafts and baking with the girls. I am also feeling called to honour the upcoming solstice and the quietness inside me with more introspective pursuits. 

I feel both tugs, and as I go back and forth between amped-up business and jazz-jello coolness, I am reminded of a Buddhist concept, the Middle Way. This accepts the truth of extremes and urges followers to carve out a healthy balance down the middle. (Though, traditionally this means the middle way between everything, where there lies a divine emptiness). There is always a middle way, and if I squint, I can discern it among all the demands this season brings.

We're starting the season slow here, as we nurse our poor papa bear to health. He underwent wrist surgery to repair torn ligaments and is to be resting while it heals. I am enjoying having him here to share my days, but respecting that he is a patient, and not a participant. This allows me to have adult-calibre conversations while still attending to my nose-wiping, Crayola paint-supervising duties. I'm a lucky lady.

I am happily planning baking afternoons over the holidays season, mostly to share with others, (but a few to indulge my girls). I am writing out our Christmas cards, planning ways to include lessons in giving to our little ladies, meal planning for special events and setting priorities for gift-giving, so our budgets and our intentions for meaningful, simple gifts don't run away from us. Less is more.

I am hoping that if everyone else feels something similar, a push-and-pull to diametrically opposed moods, that we can all be kind to each other as we strike those balances. Setting boundaries and honouring the right decisions can be difficult, and we could all use a little encouragement. In the end, while I may feel an aversion to mall crowds, party schedules and commercialism, I realize those problems are so silly. I would do much better to bear in mind those who are suffering, especially those in my own life, and instead think of ways to shine a little light for them.

Steel drums being played outside the straw market in Nassau. 

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