My Reason for the Season

Thanksgiving is becoming an afterthought in our quest to rush through the holidays. The fact that it’s slinking in the backdoor of November this year doesn’t help. My husband and I caught the tail end of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on primetime TV last night and wondered, Since when did they start running this stop-motion harbinger of Christmas toy commercials before the Thanksgiving bird is even stuffed?

Sure, there is lip service done to the practice of gratitude over a gluttonous meal on a particular November Thursday, but I can’t seem to block out the noisy fights over stores opening early to beat the Black Friday rush, or the mistreatment committed on poultry farms, or the ever-popular fears about blowing our restrictive diets.

In a few hours I will pull down the lid to my laptop of turmoil and shut off the world’s woes for a journey of reflection. Winter’s sharp tongue causes me to pull inward, to sit by the home fires and whisper encouraging words to myself as encompassing darkness approaches.

My tasks are laid out like soft flannel for the long night. I have a new body to get to know, a pile of worries and baggage to knit up into something useful, and a half-century of traditions and habits that need to be sorted and tossed into the flames. There is a waiting host of wondrous dreams that have existed only in my imagination. Their frail constitutions need warming in the glow of possibility.

My wish is simple. May you be able, in this spinning holiday dervish of a dance, to find a quiet corner, to stand stock still until the ripples fade from your over-scheduled lives. And clearly see who you are.

8 thoughts on “My Reason for the Season

  1. First, thank you for the Thanksgiving/winter/holiday wish. I wish the same for you.

    This is a beautiful piece. I have read it several times and intend to come back to it. There is melancholy and resolve and anticipation and nostalgia and protest and resignation, all of which you have managed to make peaceful with the amazing connection between photograph and final paragraph, and with the benediction to your reader.

    I especially loved the pulling down of the lid of your laptop of turmoil and the laying out of your tasks like soft flannel. The poet in you WILL be heard!

    Thanks so much for the stillness.


    1. I have fought against the stillness my whole life, and finally I can see it as a gift. Thank you, Maureen, for helping me recognize this. Your introspection has been a wonderful influence. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. I thank you for the compliment, which I consider a wonderful one. But I am very surprised to read that you have “fought the stillness.” Your photographs contradict you; they are a history of still moments. You have an eye for stillness, an instinct for it. Apparently it’s been nudging you for a while. What a great time of year to give in to it!

  3. An excellent post, and very interesting comments. At our store the first Christmas items started going out before Halloween. With forty-two and a half hours of Christmas Muzak a week, my Jingle Bells have now turned into Jangle Bells. I too could use a long winter’s nap.

    It is a simple fact that you can’t go back and do the things you wish you had done in the past. But yes, you can stop, listen to yourself, redirect your energies, and do the things you want to do in the present. Except maybe for that break dancing. You might want to give a pass to becoming a b-girl.

    1. Ha, I’m with you on the break dancing, Mike! As I grow older, the urgency to do some of the stuff I’ve avoided grows stronger. Like writing. And art. We shall see. And of all my jobs, retail during the holidays was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to endure. And that includes picking two acres of hot peppers in the summer. Hang in there.

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