A season of peace

Posted by on December 23, 2011

 

“I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace.”
Isaiah 54:13

It is two days before Christmas and I’m watching flakes gently falling. Outside, all is quiet, limbs limp beneath a covering of snow, the pine tree a portrait of tatted lace. Gentle music flows wistful beneath the hot breath of orange cranberry bread cooling in the kitchen.

Tonight, we will snuggle in front of the Christmas tree, watching a movie by firelight and nibbling cheese. Tomorrow, a morning trip to market just to enjoy the energy, then a church service in the evening. Perhaps a bit of revelry.

There are three simple gifts beneath the tree – one for each of the special people I will be spending Christmas with.  That, and our stocking stuffers (my favourite), will be enough.

Like many others, I have reclaimed my Christmas as a season of peace. A season of giving presence, not presents.

I recall Callie’s final months, when the only thing she wanted was to be with her people. She would lie where she could watch both of us at the same time. She no longer wanted to walk, but still loved to accompany us in the car. When I was outside in the garden, she followed me as I moved around the yard.  She taught us a valuable lesson about the gift of joy our simple presence can bring.

And so this Christmas, I chose to give time to friends, to neighbours, to family.  Afternoon hikes or neighbourhood walks, coffee chats, a movie, a phone call, evenings with simple pleasures, lunch with mom. Nothing frantic, nothing pressing. No malls or shopping sprees. For the first time in a long time,Christmas seems as it should.

And today, my reward is a peace that may not be the world’s peace, but an inner sense of calm. Of rightness. Of contentment. Despite the poverty of our spirit. We are still missing the golden girl who taught us more about being human than any human being. Emptiness still reigns in our hearts.

But still.

It’s Christmas.

How else should we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace?

“Peace is a gift from God,
often hidden from the wise and wealthy
and revealed to those who feel empty,
inarticulate and poor.”
Henri J. Nouwen.

Wishing you all a season of presence and peace.

Love,
Deborah

8 Valued Thoughts on A season of peace

  1. gina

    such a warm post. i have the visuals of your evening and it’s perfect. so many years i promise myself that ‘next year’ will be calmer, less rushed, less about presents. i love this post and it will serve as a reminder of my intentions for next year. however, the gifts that you have chosen to give…your presence, is a gift i intend to give more of all year, every day.
    Merry Christmas to you…all of you.
    ps…is this beautifully lit, snow covered beauty in your yard? it’s magical. i keep staring at it.
    xo
    gina

    • Deborah Carr

      Gwen, Carolyn, Jane and Gina – much love…so glad you found time to stop by. This Christmas was a special one in many ways…least of all being that we had snow on the trees.

      Yes, Gina…my husband started decorating this tall tree two years ago. Our neighbour’s baby was mesmerized by it last year and this year (she is only two), the first night it was lit, she ran to their window and cried, “Mummy…it’s beee-you-ti-FUL!”

  2. Jane Tims

    Hi Deborah. Very charming post. I am experiencing a calm Christmas as well. We even had snow today. Merry Christmas to you. I don’t comment often but I like checking in on your posts. Jane

  3. Carolynn

    Simply beautiful. I love the photos, too!

  4. Gwen Buchanan

    Deborah, So beautiful and warm and peaceful…… Merry Christmas, Gwen

  5. Relyn

    Christmas Day has flown past. Just now I have a quiet moment between bouts of after-Christmas sale shopping. I wanted to stop by and wish you all the joys of the season. As the quiet week approaches, may you find time to do all the things you most love. May you know, each day, how very blessed and loved you are. Happy Holidays, friend. ~ Relyn

    • Deborah Carr

      It’s nice to find those islands of calm in all the Christmas fun. I wish you much love in the new year, friend-across-the-miles.

  6. Ceci

    Sigh!

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