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Stories We Tell: Grief and the Holidays

When we so fear the dark that we demand light around the clock, there can be only one result: artificial light that is glaring and graceless and, beyond its borders, a darkness that grows ever more terrifying as we try to hold it off. Split off from each other, neither darkness nor light is fit for human habitation. But the moment we say “yes” to both of them and join their paradoxical dance, the two conspire to make us healthy and whole.                                    ~~Parker J. PalmerAccepting the bad with the good is part of life, or so the idiom goes. Grief and loss happen throughout a lifetime, but then also come great gifts of joy and happiness. It’s an irony of the greatest degree that the holidays, these festivals of light that we celebrate, happen for us at the darkest time of the year. Or perhaps it’s a beautiful gift. At the most basic level the stories we tell around the holidays can be healing at very deep levels.
“God rest you merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.…
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Want the change by Rainer Maria Rilke English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
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Every happiness is the child of a separation
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If you fall I will catch you. I will be waiting. Time after time.
~~Cyndi Lauper

The leaves are beginning to change. Already. And I have a summer cold.
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How could that possibly work?
Our ego is the part of us that wants to prove something. “We got this!” “We’re better than the other guy.” “We’re special.”…

Our Sacred Gardens

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Several weeks after I had built and planted my raised bed garden Christina and her husband came for a visit. I showed her my basil and rosemary, my zucchini, beans and cucumbers, kale and tomatoes. She gave me the gardener's green thumbs up. She agreed with me that I may have over-zealously planted my tomatoes too close together and I had possibly more zucchini than I could ever eat or manage to give away. Encouraging me, she told me to “just let it go and see what happens.” This advice sat well with me. It felt like freedom. I had planted some seeds and I had permission from my garden guru to let my first attem…