"Anointed with Wonder"
- Dawn in the Desert -
A television news report last evening talked about how several major department stores are being sued for offering “fake” holiday super-sales. Shoppers are told that all the prices of everything in the store have been “slashed” by as much as 70% but its all a big “con-job” and the prices you pay during the holidays are basically the same you’d pay at any time of the year.
Yesterday’s story about the fake holiday sales was reported from a large shopping mall. I almost laughed out loud as news about this “con-job” was told in the midst of crowds of people carrying packages and rushing into stores as a familiar “carol” played in the background: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
I can get pretty cynical and jaded in this busy “holiday” season. Lots of stuff seems kind of phony and fake in this “most wonderful time of the year.” I sometimes question whether or not all those artificial trees, twinkling lights and carols in the mall and markets are little more than merchandising techniques to enhance sales and advance the spread of unchecked consumerism? "Bah-humbug!"
As I got up this morning the desert sky was bathed in the stunning gold, pink and blue colors of an early winter dawn and I was jarred out of my cynicism. Maybe this really is the most wonderful time of the year but I just don’t have the heart to embrace it or the eyes to see it?
Luckily we will be spending much of the upcoming Christmas holidays with our little 2-year old grand-baby. He is always such a happy fellow who is seeing the world for the very first time and enjoying every minute of it. I am sometimes filled with tears of joy when I see how excited he gets about going to the zoo, painting a Halloween pumpkin, tearing off ribbons from a present, or looking at a light twinkling on a tree. This year I am hoping he will teach me how to soften my heart and open my eyes once again to the wonder of it all.
Rachel Carson once observed:
A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful,
full of wonder and enchantment.
It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision,
that instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring
is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.
During this season I aim to reclaim “wonder” once again. I intend to look again at the world and pay attention to that which is beautiful and awe-inspiring, not fake and artificial. I will bask in the beauty of the morning sunrise and gaze in awe at the mystic night-time cosmos. I will try to open my ears to the magical sounds of the season and be enchanted by all the brightly-colored lights, to hear and see it all for the very first time once again.
There is a debate nowadays as to whether people should greet each other by saying “Merry Christmas” or is it better to say “Happy Holidays?" I recently came across a beautiful "Celtic Blessing” that seems far better than any traditional holiday greeting. So, this is my wish to all I meet in these days of the most wonderful time of the year:
As the breath of light awakens color
may the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.