The holidays seem to be a time when many dread celebrating because of tragic things that may have occurred during the year. We try to smile and be as pleasant as we can, but there is a void that cannot be filled and a thirst that cannot be quenched. Many try to put on holiday music to get into the mood, yet the air still feels stagnant and stale. What do you do and how?
I look over the events of this year and think about the challenges many of us faced whether with a physical ailment or diagnosis, the pain of losing someone you love, the financial struggles or becoming a victim from the many natural disasters that shattered normal lives around the world that we could do nothing to prevent.
Still, as we look at our experiences and the loneliness we feel or the adversities we faced, we glance over at the next person who probably faced great odds as well, who is trying to just get through one day at a time, with an inkling of hope and optimism.
It is said that things could be worse and while we know that holds much truth, we try not to think it into existence. We struggle to pump up the volume of hope, trying to snuff out those voices that yell fear, trying to plant seeds of doubt and despair in our spirits.
But, as I glance outside my window, as the storm today has passed leaving remnants of its presence behind, I smile and I am encouraged by the primal sounds of birds, flying in gaiety. I do not witness their sadness or mourning, only life, and celebration. I am encouraged by this. Nature, animals, and children have an instinctive and animated way of making our gratitude meter rise as we laugh affectionately at their antics and embrace hope no matter the occasion.