Oh such a lovely day.
Absolutely shimmering with love and light, much like the fire I’m sitting by right now. In much the same way as the sunlight danced on the water at the fishing pond this afternoon. And just like the candles that lit the lovely old room where we shared stories and celebrated the life of St. Lucia this evening.
A day filled with good things–visiting Santa at the Go Fish Education Center and fishing off the bridge while we waited for his arrival. Listening to a precious conversation that Santa and Mrs. Claus had with our Princess and Cooter. Reading the kind words my oldest’s godfather had to say about her. Hugs and a visit with Mess Cat–those don’t come often enough. The sun shining, the breeze just right. Baking cookies from Maemae’s recipe for Swedish Ginger Cookies to share with people tonight at the St. Lucia Day service. Putting together a wreath last minute from things around the house for our Princess to dress up as Santa Lucia. Laughter and sharing stories over good food with great friends.
All of it–really, really good.
My heart is full to bustin’.
And yet I feel like weeping.
Stories are overwhelming me–stories of families in need who can’t give their children the magic they would like to on Christmas morning, let alone put food on the table. Stories of children in homes that aren’t theirs, being asked for the very first time to dream and wish and the list is oh so heartbreakingly long. Imagine no one ever asking what you want under the tree–ever. And then one day someone finally does ask. Children. They’re only little for just a little bit–we only have one chance to get it right, to make this world a safe place for them. And I say we, because it’s up to all of us to care for the little ones of the world, whether we have little ones sleeping under our own roofs or not.
So much hope lost, so much brokenness, so many children without someone gazing on them with love and joy.
I was at the grocery store this morning (yes on a Saturday–but it was a quick in, quick out–it was SATURDAY after all), and I saw a Mama and daughter shopping together throughout the store. The daughter wasn’t much older than our Princess. At one point I saw the Mama throw her head back and laugh and then hug her daughter with a side embrace. As she looked down at her girl, love shining in her eyes, the Mama told her precious girl, “Oh you are so funny!”
It was enough to bring tears to my eyes. The love in that Mama’s gaze. I’ve seen that. Every time my Mama looked at me. Right up to the last time, when she wrinkled her nose in her “I love you” language, unable to say those three words out loud.
My Mama firmly believed that every child should be wanted and loved. She loved each of hers so very much, and I don’t see how any of us could have ever doubted it. Oh she fussed and she gave us one more chewing out on more than one occasion, but I never doubted my Mama loved me. Ever.
And the fact that there are children who do have doubts–who cannot be sure that they are loved–and the fact that there are parents who love their children so very much but cannot provide the basic necessities…..
My heart and mind aches.
It’s like having the flu, but it’s in my soul.
And there doesn’t seem to be a cure for it.
I like to peruse the titles of books. Sometimes I go to Doubleday’s website and just look at book covers and titles and wonder how the writers chose the design, the fonts, but mostly the words in their titles. What about those words encompassed the meaning they were trying to convey?
Tonight I saw a title of a book that gave me pause.
Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good by Jan Karon.
I have no idea about the story, though I have read some of her books.
This is about what those words said to me.
Somewhere safe with somebody good—
somewhere where there is enough food,
where love is plentiful, and there is enough so that just enough dreams
that float around through those little ones’ heads and hearts
can come true–
just enough so that hope is not lost forever.
Somewhere safe with somebody good,
someone who will fight tooth and nail and lion, tiger, or bear
to provide for and keep the little ones safe.
Somewhere safe with someone good
who will always gaze upon them with love,
so that even when the one who loved is gone,
the ones left behind will still feel the warmth
of that love. Always.
Somewhere safe with somebody good–
that’s my Christmas wish.
For my little ones and for all little ones, young and old,
who share this earth with me–
somewhere safe with somebody good.
So that the doubts and fears and hunger pains
and sorrow over dreams that never came to be
will dissipate and never be a part of this life for the
precious little ones again.
It is all so overwhelming that I don’t even know where to start.
And so I pick up the one starfish I see, and I throw it back in the ocean.
And I pray that on Christmas morning the little one will look around
and know that he is loved,
that she is treasured,
and the seed of hope will once again be planted
in their little hearts and souls.
I pray that there will
always be a caring someone there to tend that seed and
help it to continue blooming and growing.
May we all get a chance to plant a seed of hope for someone today.
Love to all.