It has been awhile since I posted.
The other day someone told me I was an idealist. I think they meant as a put down. I took it as a compliment. After all, many schools of philosophy and their philosophers are dreamers.
Somehow, having dreams of a more just and humane world is not realistic. It reminded me of what Christmas might mean to someone who is a dreamer and lines from Imagine by John Lennon:
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Several year ago, I read an essay by Parker Palmer that reminds me the miracle of Christmas. It reminded me how, as a child growing up in Northern Alberta, Christmas was a time of wonder I could not explain and try not to as an adult.
Parker posted on Facebook about an experience in Nogales Mexico at a refuge for asylum seekers. Asylum is another word for seeking refuge. He pointed out Jesus was likely a person of colour born into the Jewish faith. For me, his birth is an ecumenical event.
I wrote the following poem several years ago and am drawn back to it each year. I hope it captures Christmas in a way that reaches out and touches each of what we have in common: our humanness and we are a journey seeking refuge at various times
Expectant mother riding,
Backs straight; heads held high–
Donkey serving as regal carriage.
Seeking refuge in the night–
Giving birth in a stable,
Swathed and cradled in a manger,
Beasts welcoming the child.
Showering gifts upon us–
Returning each year,
Lighting each way–
Only asking, “Can you open your hearts?”
Source of strength,
Our turn to humbly receive gifts,
For several years, Kathy and I enjoyed Canadian singer and actor Tom Jackson.
He does a lovely rendition of Huron Carole, which I share below. Again, this points to an ecumenical nature of Christmas, Christ’s Mass, echoing Parker’s (re)membering “the story, the music, the candlelight, the scent of pine, the silent night, the warm presence of family and friends.”
For me, it is also food and opening a present on Christmas Eve. The food included traditional French-Canadian tourtière (meat pie), which Kathy and I continue to share with our children and grandchildren.
I live two hours east of Nogales by car, right on the border. Although I haven’t been to the shelter in Nogales, I worked for many years with a project we had right across the border from my house. Now I go to one sometimes in Agua Prieta, another half hour east of me.
The situation is dire, and the crazy Arizona governor has been stacking railroad cars along the border. Finally the feds intervened and he hast to remove them. He doesn’t just block human beings, he was doing this in a major migration point for jaguars which are quite endangered.
I love living on the borderlands, but sometimes it is so very painful.
I read about the stacking of railroad boxes. What find interesting is how, when we do these things supposedly for some dire safety reasons, we cut off natural migratory passages for wildlife. We do irreparable damage to both our human and natural relations. In Northern Canada, we built pipelines that cut off migration for caribou.
I can only imagine how painful it is for someone to live on the borderlands.
Take care and have a wonderful Christmas Emilie.
Thanks. You also.
Nice to read one of your posts again, Ivon! I liked that Tom Jackson song, too! Happy Holidays!
Thank you. It felt good to be back and I will try to work it into my routine on a regular basis. Take care and have a wonderful Christmas
Thank you and Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas to you too Ivon.
Thank you Pat. Take care and have a wonderful Christamas.
Merry Christmas Ivon and Happy & Healthy New Year!🔔🎉🎅🎁🎄
Thank you Cindy. Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2023
Lovely to see you posting, Ivon.
Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring happiness and joy.
Thank you Carolyn. Take care and have a wonderful Christmas and a great 2023
May you continue to have those great memories of Christmas past. Christmas is definitely a time of wonder. Here’s hoping you have a Christmas filled with peace and happiness while creating new memories.
Christmas is about memories. Thank you Bev. Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2023
Merry Christmas, Ivon! Good to see you back! 🎄✨
Thank you Marina. It is good to be back. Have a wonderful Christmas
Thank you, Ivon! 🎄🙏🎄
Great post and a lovely video! Beautiful wolfies 😉🐺 too! I wish you a very happy Christmas 🎄 😊 and Happy Birthday to the King…🙏🥳
Thank you. Take care and have a wonderful Christmas and a prospersous 2023
What a beautiful song! Merry Christmas to you, Ivon!
He is a wonderful singer who fits the song so well. Merry Christmas Dawn
Nice to see you back on WordPress. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Thank you. It is good to be back. I have to fix this into my routine. Take care, have a wonderful Christmas, and a prosperous 2023
Merry Christmas Ivon, and a wonderful 2023 👍
Thank you Phil. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Merry Christmas, Ivon. Welcome back.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Dan
Thank you and Merry Christmas to you
I’m a dreamer, myself; at my age, I’m still dreaming, which I believe good for mind.
We should each continue to dream and imagine
Couldn’t agree more
Happy New Year!
Thank you Benn. Be well and stay safe in 2023
Thank you Ivon, good to see your words again.
To bring hope, yes, a few lines from Beannacht – Blessing – by J. O’Donohue
… May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
With love, Ashen
Thank you Ashen for the lovely words. John O’Donohue offered blessings in the form of poetry that is so touching and heartfelt. Take care and be well
Wonderful to see you back, Ivon. You have been missed. I hope you had a beautiful Christmas. You wrote a lovely poem that says it all.
Thank you. We did enjoy our Christmas. Some of us appeared in person and we touched base with others via other media. Family and friends makes it worthwhile
Thanks for this, Ivan. The greater meaning of Christmas goes beyond any one group of people. I hope your Christmas was lovely. And I love the Huron Carol too!
You are welcome and thank you Cynthia. I find it interesting that we celebrate many of our “holidays” at the same time of the year e.g., Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. and again in the spring with Easter and Passover. At the same time, Ramadan intersects with those holidays. This year it will be in the spring.
The Huron Carol is a beautiful song and Tom Jackson has a lovely version
Yes, indeed. I didn’t realize that Ramadan is in the spring this year.
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
CHRISTMAS—-EASTER—-SAME HOPE AND JOY!
Yes it is Jonathan. My mother felt Easter was more important than Christmas as it was the resurrection and offering of hope