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Unfolding Mystery (c) Cat Charissage, 2014

Dear Friend,

In this season of the celebrating the new light, many of us have our challenges and wait in vain for Santa to make everything ecstatically wonderful.  Perhaps the ubiquitous story is needed precisely because so many of us won’t be living it in its entirety — keeping hope alive.

There’s no need to remind ourselves of the lack of world peace,  lack of family peace, lack of homes, lack of health, lack of happiness that so many across the world are experiencing now — I just poured a bunch of concerns into my journal that don’t need to be dwelt upon.  I asked myself again what it is that enables humans to endure, to survive, and even to share love and light in the midst of a “far less than perfect” living situation, because even as I witness and experience the “lack of’s”, I truly see the kindnesses, the coalitions, the reaching out of hands to help.  As we stumble through another holiday in this needful world in the midst of our needful lives, let’s remember to note how we do get back up and keep on going, and how much we have in the midst of wanting and sometimes desperately needing more.

Today I’m thankful for a warm comfortable home, a messy but wonderfully comfortable study/studio, healthy and happy enough family members, a recipe for amazing vegan gravy, the trayful of cheerful votive candles burning on the table, wi-fi, herbal tea in humongous insulated cups, plenty of paper and art supplies, a fridge full of provisions, family members who welcomed us in Calgary two days ago, other family members who will welcome us tomorrow, feeling a bit better after a painfully cold and aching morning, newspapers with the year’s “Best of’s”, enough snow for a white Christmas but not too much to make travel dangerous, plenty of great books, gifts of honey and love, Christmas ornaments hanging from bookshelves and other unusual places, the space heater churning out warmth, cookies glazed with chocolate, new (to me) cushions for the hard chairs in my study, new (to us) car that is so much more comfortable than the old one, a small pile of presents wrapped in old newspapers and cheerful red ribbon, not having to go anywhere today, my wonderful women friends in my Story Circles, my teacher and mentor Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes and tribe of the Sacred Heart, my faithful and encouraging readers, stories and images of beauty and hope.

Now, your turn!  Even if you don’t write them out, here or in your journal, take 30 seconds to look around and see what you do have, here at the end of a challenging 2016.  Note the struggles you’ve survived, note your victories, note the work still to be done by you that is meaningful and needed in this next year.

May your presence in this world, now, bring light to us all.

Much love and warmth,

Cat

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