What is it that we always want more of? Or, less of? As we approached the holidays this year, I felt a strong desire to just BE together. Freedom to BE together. Perhaps Santa could arrange time together rather than things? Perhaps we could remind ourselves that this time of the year is a gift to be free. To not feel the yoke of commercial obligation, but to take that moment and breath deep and remind yourself that YOU are FREE. I had an inspiring thought in the fall about the Sabbath in this regard– that truly the gift is freedom.
One of our favorite 12 Days this year was our sunrise hike day. Santa left warm undershirts, hot cocoa powder, and a map…a beguiling map that we were to follow the next morning to experience the beauty of the sunrise together as a family.
Stephen and I were very tired during the holidays and honestly, it was challenging to gather the mental and physical, as well as emotional energy to follow through on this and some of the other 12 Days. Nonetheless, we set the alarm and went to bed early, unbeknownst to us, we were to receive an incredible gift the next day!
Arlene and Ada? Amazingly excited to hit the trails at 6 am on a chilly, Colorado, winter morning. It was truly exhilarating to begin the hike. The mountains, black and silhouetted against a dark, but lighter background. The air was refreshing and almost nourishing. The quiet. The solitude. It was truly incredible and we were only 100 feet into the hike.
We followed the map and landed at the star. What a spectacular spot to await the rising of the sun! We poured hot cocoa, settled in and waited. Suddenly everything was okay out there. Serenity and peace washed over me. There was no where else I’d rather be. Within minutes it seemed everyone had found their own space and quiet, both physically and internally.
What a miracle to experience the sunrise. Awaiting something so special, so simple was at the heart of that morning. The season, too. It was dark, then it was slowly light. It was just us and then there were animals. It was cold and then slowly, warm all the way through. It was quiet and then there were birds.
I did indeed get what I wanted for Christmas. A priceless experience– seemingly extravagant in how greatly it filled me up, yet completely free.