Time and time and time and time again.
As time unspools and years have passed, Taoist philosophy matches my lived experience. Again, again and again.
I kinda love the secular version of American ‘christmas’ these days. It’s a giant yin-yang symbol of dynamic opposites. It can be a bright or as dim as you want – or need – it to be. On one hand it can be tinsel and twinkle lights and eggnog and excess and ebullience and pure joy of being alive. On the other it can be quiet and candle light and a warm blanket and music and curling up with a good book – also the pure joy of being alive.
The holiday doesn’t have to be any one thing all the way through. We of privilege have the privilege of sampling all aspects of the holiday season like a buffet. With it being a season rather than a day, there is enough time for us to be as raucous or as contemplative as our mood and means allow.
Time is an interesting thing in this part of the calendar year. As the year turns from one to another, people naturally seem to look both forward and backward at the same time. It’s a little like those little chameleons that can move their eyes independently of each other. Who but humans could invent a holiday that on some levels turns them into time lizards. Why not? We invented both holidays and calendars.
Time is a seamless whole, just like space. The universe is one big chunk of a thing. So is time. Christmas, New Year’s Day and the like are days like any other except for the meaning we hang on them like twinkle lights on Clark Griswold’s roof.
The beautiful part of having a holiday season instead of a holiday day is that those expectations and meanings can stay on the level of decorations and not become definitions, deadlines or stress.
Time after time, year after year, the holidays (solstice / yule for me, Christmas for my birth family) prove the Tao Te Ching is right: “nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Whatever gets done is fine.
Holidays are effortless this and every year. Telling the people you love that you love them is all that really needs accomplished.
Thank you all for reading the blog and listening to the podcast this year. I wish you – yes, YOU – a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous holiday season.