There is something we share with the citizens of Newtown – all of us – and that is the love that binds us during this time of crisis. This event brought me to my knees, as it did you and many citizens around the world, and seasoned professionals like newscasters, and politicians as well. The light shining in the faces of the children’s pictures and in the faces of their beautiful caretakers, and in the bright remembrances of the families, have forced all of us away from the mundane these past few days, and our love has bridged the miles as we offer up prayers of hope.
Giving up one’s child is unbearable under the best of circumstances and having one’s child die in a violent event is unimaginable. These families need tremendous support. Our thoughts and prayers may not seem like much to offer, but I think that in communion with others, we can provide a warm cushion around the families for a period of time. As we prepare our hearts for light at this time of year, we can remember these families who are in a special place spiritually right now and will be able to feel it. You can send cards to: Messages of Condolence for Newtown, P.O. Box 370, Newtown, CT 06470
Before me I have 6 pages of notes I was going to use for this blog. I used some of them to present ideas about how to prepare for meaningful holidays to parents at “Coffee Talk” at a Waldorf School and I was going to use some ideas for this article. But now I am going to throw them away. Creating the “perfect” holiday experience doesn’t seem that important in this moment and I only want to focus on a few essentials.
Spend your days listening to, smiling at, hugging and enjoying your children. Don’t spoil “too much” with stuff but spend meaningful family time creating traditions. Be grateful for your time together, don’t sweat the small stuff, and bond a little closer with these precious ones.
Our children, not long ago arriving from heavenly realms, want to experience goodness on earth. Important: Create regular and rhythmic space for spirit to come into your hearts so that when the time comes to be together, the children will experience your joy. You leave the house to go sledding but Jamie forgot her gloves? Oh well, walk back to the house and get them. No biggie. Make sure the children have a good rhythm of activity vs. downtime to conserve their energy as well.
Each evening contemplate on how you would like the following day to go. The tone of the day will be determined by your mood. And then of course, in the moments when it all falls apart (Suzie hits Jacob and Brian is in a sugar spaz from the cookies you made), you stop and repair as well you can, and then continue on. The teachers have a joke (we have so many – humor is essential when working with children) about the best-laid plans gone awry.
Be sure to spend some time outdoors over the holidays. The rhythms of the natural world can fill the soul and inspire. Walk outside in the cold and dark looking up to the stars. Ponder on the wonder of the heavens. Smell the pine trees and feel the crunch of the needles under your feet, the blowing wind biting at your cheeks. “Is that a cat? No look, it is a fox!” Point out the buds that are forming on the trees and talk about the activity below the earth, the seeds germinating to flourish in Spring. In Winter we spend more time inside the home, and more time contemplating internally as well. Hopefully over these days, some of our ponderings become good ideas, germinating, to be born at a later date.
Don’t be like Baboushka, in the popular Russian story we tell in the kindergartens, who was too busy to follow the Star, the divine light in her own soul. Seek and you shall find. Look inward, and the peace and light in your heart will lead you to find the answers for a meaningful holiday which started out by one noble deed – putting yourself in the place of another, and now leads to another noble deed – being “present” in oneself in order to share this divine light with family and friends.