The first draft for this blog started in November, around Thanksgiving. It has taken many twists and turns since then; and now we’re in the midst of the next holiday season. So, I wonder, how is all this time connected in words?
Looking through the menagerie of activity, I’m amazed at what got packed into the months’ days – people, projects, dinners, conversations, events, classes – goodness. My mind wondered where to begin, now. In the quiet, my heart spoke. “Look at the gifts.”
In this hectic time, where life pulls us in many directions, when we want to fit it all into the calendar, and when our attention is pulled to “gift giving”, my heart spoke Wisdom and Truth. In quiet reflection, I discovered more than the calendar listed. There were many gifts to be seen and remembered. Gift gifts. Life’s gifts. Being alive gifts.
For example, I was given the gift of a mobile app and the e-publishing of Chapter 1 for my first book, Awakening Awareness*. If that isn’t fabulous enough, it is only part of the gifting story.
Along the way, I got to experience trust. The trust to share the first chapters, letting them take flight from the safety of my computer. And that, in turn, brought the gift of seeing – I got to see that my writing and the material connected deeply with others.
Gift Gift – Technology. Life’s Gift – Trust. Being Alive Gift – Seeing and Connecting.
Another gift has been community. When we’re an active participant, the gifts of community are easy to see. For me, it has been – birthday celebrations, milestone celebrations, helping loved ones, friends, and connecting in conversation.
The past month has also brought its share of quiet. Some moments I have reveled in, appreciating rest. Other quiet days appeared unexpected in my laundry list of things to get done.
What then? Where are the gifts when the rest of the world moves at its whirlwind pace and we stand in the midst of uninvited silence? Some moments, testing my patience gave me the opportunity to find a breath of patience I didn’t know I had.
Other moments, the world pulled my gaze to look closer at life easily left unseen. I saw a tree at the top of the street. Standing in its glory, easily letting time change its colors, until the moment it would reach for the sky in its naked beauty. The tree and I share this life. We are community.
Another moment, I was in my favorite grocery nestled into my thoughts as I went about shopping. Until I was startled by a voice. I looked up and saw a familiar face – the master of produce – “Hi… Good to see you… How are you today? Finding what you need?” We, the food, the grocery, the produce master are community.
Yet, another moment, popped in as I perused through Facebook posts. At first, it was to create a distraction, filling a quiet moment. In a blink of an eye, or perhaps it was the click of the “Like” button, I understood.
Every person, every “Like”, every post is my community. I know where and how each person came into my life and the experiences we’ve shared. More than that, the community connects me to an even broader one – everyone who has touched my life whether I knew it or not.
Standing in the midst of others or alone in my home, there are many gifts. Gift Gifts – People, Dinners, Conversations. Life’s Gifts – Community – Past, Present, Future. Being Alive Gifts – Time, Presence, Belonging.
Sitting in this moment of quiet awe, I wish for you life’s gifts. May they touch your heart this holiday season. May the new year bring its gifts of possibility and its knowing that All is Well.
“To every season, turn, turn, turn, there is a reason turn, turn turn. And a time for every purpose, under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 put to song by Peter Seeger (1950) and the Byrds (1965)).
Happy Holidays and Joyous New Year,
* Awakening Awareness is the exploration of the adventure we live from the outside-in and the inside-out. The mobile app is a “breath of meditation.” Through a picture and a quote from my book, it brings a moment of peace. The technology project was part of an Emory University media class; chosen and completed, done by 4 students – 3 undergraduates and an MBA student.