December 17 - Christmas/Equinox

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Christmas wreath made of Christmas presents mounted on a wall

It is mid December, a time of holidays, longer nights and colder weather. These are elements that happen every year, no matter what else might be going on in the world. In other years we might also be out shopping or attending gatherings of loved ones but as with so many other things in this year, these activities are being put aside for a time. We are dealing with a pandemic right now, an event that is overwhelming in how it has impacted our daily lives. We have become used to going about our business without care in spite of previous generations who dealt with war, depressions, and natural disasters during this time of year. When faced with this huge events that impacts us all, it can be difficult to see the magic, to find hope as the nights grow longer and colder.

Christmas tree with star on top, presents around the bottom of the tree

Yet isn’t that what the holiday celebrations are really about? The search for light when darkness is growing, the ability to find a way to move forward when it seems there are no paths to follow? That is the magic of the season, people striving every day to bring a little bit of light, a little bit of hope by simple acts of charity and compassion. Television shows and movies depict angels, saints and other beings who save the day, magical beings that appear only to those who are worthy. If the magic doesn’t happen, if there isn’t a fix, there is an implication that we are somehow unworthy of obtaining a better life. At times like these, it is easy to wish for an all powerful being, someone like a parent, to come and make things better. When in reality it is our hope, our belief in a better world that gives us the magical touch to fix the problems that lay before us. It is the community around us, our family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, fellow students, all of us working together who bring magic to the season. And that magic will last longer and satisfy more because we will have earned it ourselves.

Out door decorations in front of a house containing a lighted snowman, wreath, tree, penguin and igloo

May your season be filled with hope, love and community as we all look for a brighter path to the future.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster. Prints of select photos can be found at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/

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