Holiday Reflections

Yule is passed. Christmas is passed. Since we’re a multi-religious home, we celebrated both holidays. It means more family, more presents, more feasting. I didn’t make the trip to the Grove this year – my health has been shaky for several weeks. I didn’t light a fire, or make an offering to the Gods. But as I keep walking along this path, adjusting to motherhood, the more comfortable I’m getting with my faith.

When I hug my child close, I sense all the generations before us that have done the exact same thing with their children. My grandmother, her grandmother, all the way back to the most distant ancestors. Every time I nurse him, carry him around with one arm while I clean or make something to eat, every beautiful smile he gives me, I feel the smiles of those spirits who came before us. As long as I’m taking care of him, I know the Gods forgive my lack of offerings. They forgive my missing a ritual. My very soul is the fire that both honors Them and nurtures my child – as long as it burns bright, I know that all is well.

I used to believe that suffering was the surest way to find faith – that pain led people to seek a higher power. I found my own faith amid the darkest shadows of my life, and I’ve known so many who did the same. But I realize now that joy is so much stronger. As the holidays – Holy Days – have drawn to a close, I find myself simply and purely grateful for my family and this life that I’ve been given.

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