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A Present of Presence

Joy welcomes all.

Snow is gently falling outside. The smell of cinnamon fills the air. Candles lit sporadically throughout the home. The soft, joyous beat of a holiday tune swirls around.

The doorbell rings.  The kids race to the door with a flurry of excitement.  In unison we open the door to find a family at the stoop, bundled up tight. Scarfs are tied snug as snowflakes settle on the fuzz of the mittens and the stray strands of hair. We all take a deep breath and there is a pause in the air as though there is a bow, an honoring of the moment of greeting. Then the kids burst inside with boisterous laughter and a squeal as they merge with the other children inside in play.  The giggles fade into a murmur as they run off to their secret spaces.  The sights, the smells, the sounds all bring back the feeling of the holidays.

One thing we all cherish is the joy in experiencing each others company. The intention to be together. Tell stories. Laugh. Just be, together. Cherishing the nurturing meal as it is the catalyst that brings everyone in for one purpose to one place. Oh, to linger in the richness of it all. So full of sensation and presence.

I close my eyes as I sit at the dining room table and notice. The swirling energy around me. A story breaks into a crescendo then melts into laughter. The fragrance of the meal wafts deeply in, out and around my nostrils. A sudden childlike he, he, ha from the adjacent room turns into a shrill of pure childhood play. The warmth of the room, plus the fire, plus the oven, plus the people, plus the love envelopes me like a thick wool blanket and soaks into me like the deep rays of the sun. Let them penetrate. Let the sensations of this everyday, but oh so special moment seep deeply within each and every cell of my body. Let it become me, just for that moment until the next, newly created and completely unique, yet familiar wave of experience comes to meet me again. Feel the meal fill me with nourishment, meaning, and satiety.

Realize that the rich, thick, multi-dimensional nature of this moment is available to you every moment of every day. Even in complete silence there is richness and depth. Joy welcomes all equally. This is all right there waiting for you. No need to search, it’s right there. All around you. Such gratitude for all the simple gifts that are available every single day. All that is right there, waiting to be savored. Right now, moment to moment.

As I exit the celebration, the chill hits my face with such sharpness that I’m sure I’m alive. It awakens me. The sounds are absent in the crisp winter air but at the same time it feels so rich with meaning. The quite contemplative scene guides my gaze to the stars glistening above and my heart remains whole in the absence of overt sensation. Experiences like these are all arounds us. Always.

I hope this little story brings a glimmer of light to your holiday.  Much love to you all!