Here we are, firmly moving into the (bah, humbug) full holiday frenzy. I didn't even seem to be able to catch my breath long enough to mumble my annual deep thanks for living in a time of modern plumbing.
The wind is a whipping cold version of Santa Ana's tonight, which is for sure SoCal Christmas weather. In mere weeks we will go through the longest night and then celebrate the growing light, the birth of The Word (even if Jesus was most likely born at a complete different time of year), and charge on into the a New Year of making promises to ourselves and no keeping them. But for these precious children in my life and the wonder in their eyes, I would just as soon lock myself in my room for the duration.
More and more, I have been feeling irrelevant. Somehow while I was busy growing up and raising kids and loving and surviving, things have just sort of passed me by. If I have gained wisdom, it is wisdom nobody wants. If I could have had a bigger purpose, I don't know that I can now.
But there is this other voice whispering in my ear. It is the timeless message of the season that just happens to be an ongoing theme of my entire life.
I wonder, has there ever truly been an age when the world was at peace? But more than that, I grew up somehow very aware of the threat of war. I remember when I was 4, a plane would fly over and I would fear that a bomb would drop. During most of childhood and teen years the nightly news was also the nightly death count from Viet Nam. Even when we weren't in active battles, we have been in threat, my entire life. Now, again, powerful children are beating their breast and making threats with nuclear missiles.
And so this is Christmas and war is over if we want it. Peace on earth, goodwill towards humankind.
And we argue about someone standing or kneeling during the national anthem. And we pretend to be shocked that casting couches have been a real thing and who is going to get caught next. The greedy continue to be greedy, the predators continue to stalk the prey. But don't worry, the next Star Wars is coming out soon and next month pot will be sold legally here.
Maybe we will all be blown to the dark ages tomorrow with apathy paving the way.
Still, can I ask you to light a candle this season (a battery operated one will do). Smile at a neighbor who doesn't look like you. Show kindness to a stranger. And write a letter to someone in power, asking them to work for peace. One more time, can we consider giving peace a chance?
I am only one voice, and nobody wants to hear one old lady who's day is gone and past. But I still have this little light, and here I am, shining it in the dark tonight. Shine, little light, shine.