“This Christmas behold Christ born anew in the beauty of all Nature,
in your awakened wisdom,
in everything which wears true beauty,
and in everybody who saturates himself with the fragrance of Christ-qualities.” Yogananda
Christmas is a special time of year that warms the heart. This morning during meditation it struck me how much easier it is to tune into the Divine in the ones you love, in the beautiful music, and in the spirit of giving that the holidays bring each year. It’s no wonder that this tradition has lasted through the ages.
I woke up this morning feeling the strangeness of breaking with tradition for the first time in my life on Christmas morning – I was the sole human in my home. Granted, I have two dogs and a cat who would be offended were I to claim that I was alone; I was not alone. But, there was no Kashi or Mom or Dad waiting for me in the kitchen. No playing the Christmas elf and passing out presents from oldest to youngest. No silly puns written on cards attached to gifts meant to hint at the contents.
And yet, I could not be more thankful for how this Christmas has turned out. I had a real scare with my Labrador’s life last week that resulted in abrupt changes to my holiday plans. I spent the six days before Christmas praying, crying, and worrying in rotation over my little furry charge. It is the grace of God and hundreds of heartfelt prayers from so many loved ones that brought her back home to me alive and healing. I can’t imagine that this incident didn’t happen for a reason or that some lesson can’t be gleaned from it…
For me, in this event, it was faith. Faith that Divine Mother is in charge. It is wrenching to know that your own mistake can result in suffering or even death of another. The short version of this story is that I left a sweet bread made with Xylitol out on the counter and my dog plucked it off while I was away and ate every last bite. It turns out that Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs. We rushed to the hospital and found ourselves anxiously awaiting updates three times a day about liver values and blood glucose levels. When I found myself facing the consequences of my own stupid mistake, I realized that I could do my best to fix this, but the rest was in Divine Mother’s hands. Not passively mind you, I had to pray hard, but to do so effectively meant having faith that She would answer.
And answer She did. My doggy is home safe with me now, recovering day by day, and sharing the joy of Christmas with me on this special day.