I was struck by this passage when I read it last week. If you haven't discovered the joys of Gladys Taber, I highly recommend that you run to your nearest used book store or library and read anything that she wrote. She was a columnist and magazine writer and was most famous for her "Stillmeadow" books which chronicle the seasons on her farm and her observations about the world. What resonates with me about this passage is how, although it was written during the World War II years, it is still relevant today. I read this the day before the tragedy at Newtown and I read it again today to remind myself that this, too, shall pass. I just pray that the people directly affected will be able to find some peace over time for what seems unanswerable.
I hope that you have a blessed, quiet and beautiful Christmas and holiday season. I know that I'm feeling grateful for so many things right now and glad of the moments that I often take for granted––and the people in them.
"We live in parlous times. Nobody can deny it. With the divorce rate skyrocketing, and foreign troubles sitting like gray wolves outside the door, and politics a shambles, and unrest in every industry, and the economic situation unstable, we know that life is grave. Our country is full of underprivileged people; we face crises not once a month but every week. I know all this. I know we are bigoted and narrow––and I read many letters from women who say they will not bring a child into this world because they are afraid.
But oh, as Christmas comes again, I know an inner security about life that I wish I could share. The old tired earth is most beautiful and lovely. As long as men come home from work and children from school and women put a sprig of parsley on the platter so the steak or the chicken or the spaghetti may look festive, so long as the church bells ring in the frosty air, we may have a world worth living for.
And Christmas is the time when we can understand this; even if we are sad or lonely or in trouble as so many people are in this scrap of whirling matter-in-space. For this is the season of living as deeply as we may, of loving, and of the expression of the values of life that we can believe in...any loving deed or word, this is the magic of Christmas!"
~ Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Seasons, 1947
You come back when you're ready!