This is a tough season when you’re feeling blue. All the bright lights and music, and holiday fun: You’d think that the season would cheer a person up.
Except that’s not the way it works, is it?
I had a tough holiday season a number of years ago. I was out of work, with no prospects on the horizon. Money wasn’t easy to come by as it had been in the past. My kids were growing up – entering those years when the last thing they wanted was to spend time with their mom. No job. No money. No kids to play with. It seemed as though everywhere I turned, I couldn’t find my purpose. I was even having trouble writing – something I had always been able to turn to for solace when life was tough. Writing had always been my buffer for when the world felt a little too cruel. Now, I didn’t even have that to comfort me.
And then, one morning I woke up to a story just beginning. I could hear its words so clearly, and in my imagination I could see it. I wasn’t sure what it was exactly – it wasn’t a story like any I had ever written before. I didn’t even know what to call what I was writing. Only recently did I learn, when I asked my husband (an English teacher), and he told me, “It’s a fable.”
Longings of a Monterey Pine poured out of me quickly, and when I’d finished it, I felt better. My worries, my fears, my regrets were all replaced by something new: hope and peace. Those two words, for me, sum up the season. And this season we need them now more than ever. No matter what holidays you celebrate at this time of the year, I offer you those two words – hope and peace – as a gift in this little story that I wrote, this fable that helped me in so many ways when I wrote it.
(It’s a story best told when read aloud in the silence of the night. Whether alone, or with the company of little ones with eyes so bright. Click on the link, the one just below. It’ll take you to the story, and you’re all set to go…)