As a child, I cherished memories of candle-lit churches smelling of greens, filled with choirs and organ music and the pealing of the bells.
It’s odd, reflecting back, that so many beloved memories are of celebrations of sound that paid homage to the story. As soon as days become shorter and nights grow colder, my heart opens, waiting, waiting, waiting for proclamations and celebrations of Peace on Earth.
As I’ve aged, my heart has filled with many beloved stories and metaphors from the Deep MidWinter. All are cherished and, for me, hold the pungent, snowy scent of Truth and Love.
Leonard Cohen, a great and wonderful Buddhist Jew and poet, gave us a great anthem for this season, the chorus of which goes:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offerings
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the Light gets in…
Oh, my friends, we are the cracked, imperfect offerings, we are the bells who still can ring and we are the lights that remind the world that Hope and Truth and Peace are still working to breaking open every person’s heart.
Every day, every season, is a perfect time for Peace, for light and ringing bells… but this time of year, when it is Cold and Dark, that message is even more startling and beautiful. As an old Christmas carol starts: Ring out wild bells!
I returned to this blog before I posted, because I realized that these days, I also listen for the joyous sound of my friend Pete’s giggle as it echoes in my memories. She was a champion giggler and her Joy, infectious. She changed my life with her friendship and her laughter will linger long after she is gone…
Wishing you Beauty, Hope, and sweet, sweet Peace. May these holy days be gentle and edged in Joy and may you ring that out across the land.
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.