I’m at a bit of a loss. In the past couple of days we’ve been hit by news about friends whose health has taken a turn for the worse, whose health issues have created emergencies that require hospitalization and bedside watches, or whose treatments have come to an end and they’ve chosen to return home to live the rest of their days in a place they love. Statistically speaking, I know bad things happen to people all year round. It just seems extra unfair when they happen at Christmas.
At the Winter Solstice we’re told to look toward the sun, to embrace its return, to cheer the vanishing dark. It’s hard to do that this year. I can turn it around and use the returning, strengthening light as a symbol of health returning — and indeed, I intend to use this symbolism for certain of the issues family and friends are facing right now — but for many people, it can’t be done. The best I can do is gather the rays of the sun and twine them gently around the vines that are my friends and acquaintances whose health cannot improve, to give them warmth and peace as they move westward. I can offer those rays to their families and closer friends, to use for strength and courage as they work through the challenge of supporting a loved one facing the end of one cycle of life.
I’m not feeling particularly Christmassy today. It’s probably not a bad thing our Yule celebration was cancelled as a result of some of this news.
However, when one has a five-year-old on board, one cannot retreat entirely from the Christmas season and magic. His joy and excitement are doing a lot to keep us on an even keel. This morning, when I was returning from what ought to be the last pre-Christmas grocery run, I remembered that the boy used to call the season “Kissmas” when he was just learning to talk, and it made me smile. Kissmas, indeed. Love your families and your friends, gentle readers. Tell them you love them not just at festive gatherings like those of the season, but every day. It ought to be Kissmas all the time in our lives.