Christmas Eve. Probably the best one ever. Just the two of us. Quiet. Peaceful. Cold out, enough for a fire in the fire place. Plenty of time to rest, read and sleep.
I have so much needed time away. A moment’s pause in the rough and tumble universe. Some days, I would step outside my office, look down the hill to the Santa Monica Bay and wish I could fly away. Too many words, words, words. I did not want to write or read another one.
But lately, I’ve felt the call to come back to the world. It is time to pick up pen and paper again. It is time to sit in front of the fire and read, read, read long into the night. Contemplate the ideas we seek, the message in a bottle that is a good book.
It is natural to search for stillness in our lives, a shelter in the storm. The holiday season can be brutal. Car commercials interrupt my Pandora stream. Deals and gifts and endless advertisements to change your life by buying and buying and buying. Capitalism’s finest hour. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Last chance to get in on the deal. Then the reprieve of after-Christmas sales. New Year’s bargains. Too much.
The man by the side of the freeway holding the sign. The woman going through the trash cans up and down my street, mumbling to herself. Prayers. Oaths. This is who we are. No middle ground, just excess and emptiness, silence and the screams.
In the middle of it all, I think of Thoreau’s cabin. I think of the high country. Snowed in. Silence as a rule, broken only by the pops and cracks of the fire. Read. Meditate. Find the silent heart of the season. The true meaning of Christmas.
This is why I needed time away. I needed to find that silence. It’s here, inside me again, and now it’s time to make my way back.
May you find the silence of which you dream.
May you find the stillness deep in the heart of a winter’s night.
Dare to dream.
And wake up to live again.