It singeth low in every heart,
We hear it each and all,--
A song of those who answer not,
However we may call;
They throng the silence of the breast,
We see them as of yore,--
The kind, the brave, the true, the sweet,
Who walk with us no more.
John White Chadwick
Monday morning of a bittersweet weekend. It was really hard knowing what to say, what to do. Do I continue on with my plans, or do I spend the weekend mourning the victims? And, what do I say here this Monday morning? How do I post about baking cookies when so many out there are wandering around lost in a sea of grief? Will it seem like I don't care if I write about cookies and Christmas? I decided that the best way to honor those who died is to go on with my life and not let the evil win just as we did after 9/11. We got on with our lives and showed them that they won't keep us down. Every time we make a decision to do good instead of evil, we alleviate some of the evil in the world. There is no greater victory over evil than to refuse to let it win. We defeat evil, in ourselves, in others and in the world, when we refuse to give it control of our lives.
Many days we may not get up with love in our hearts for our
family, our friends, our co-workers. We may, in fact, want them
to show their love for us first. But if we reach out, give love
unconditionally, focus on another's needs, love will return
tenfold. And the act of loving them will lift our own spirits.
We will know love; we will feel love for ourselves and
the many persons close to us.
And so, on a rainy Sunday I baked my Christmas cookies as planned. Thumbprints and Nutty Chocolate Chip are in front. Snickerdoodles and Mexican Wedding cookies in back. Needless to say, on Sunday I went over my calorie count. are. And I just had to taste them when they came out out of the oven...not each batch, but each tray full. No matter I ended up with a belly ache.
The recipe for Snickerdoodles was given to me a long, long time ago by an aunt from the German side of my family--that being my paternal grandfather's family. I made these cookies so often in my youth that after all of these years, the recipe is still etched in my brain. So are my memories. Oh, such amazing smells from my kitchen yesterday! Reminded me of the little girl who was once chased out of the kitchen when the women folk were doing their baking. And how I felt on that day oh, so long ago, when that little old lady with the German accent pulled me aside and told me I was old enough to learn. I must have been about 10 or 11, but she sure made me feel so grown up...and so loved. She died not long after that Christmas, but she remains forever in my heart. I honor her by continuing on with the tradition.
Kind words, family rituals, Ribbon Candy, Christmas songs, Peace, Love, Joy, Christmas traditions that last a lifetime. This is what the holiday is all about. Let us remember during this season that true love is unconditional. It includes everyone--all of our brothers and sisters, as well as ourselves. Remembering that we are Love. That is what it is all about.
When you give away some of the light from the candle,
by lighting another person's candle there isn't less light
because you've given some away--there's more.
That works with love, too.