I’m in my favorite tea shop in the world, Sophie’s Cuppa Tea (https://www.sophiescuppatea.com/), drinking Enemy’s Demise, a brilliant white tea, listening to the sublime music of two amazing women (the Suerte Sisters) harmonizing on old Spanish songs from South America.
They’ve just started singing together and don’t have a website yet. They preface each song with a story of its author and its meaning.
Their songs penetrate daily life and extract the substance of what’s important: love, loyalty, freedom, hope, joy, loss, persistence, humanity.
I love this time of year. Always for me it’s a time for sacred reflection. A time to dig deep inside myself and discover new levels of meaning. Purposeful reflection. Long moments where I retreat from the world to look at it. A time to uncover higher degrees of beauty in the simple things that reflect the magic of this time of year.
I’m getting ready for my sister’s visit from Philadelphia. Every year we take turns and it’s hers to come here. It’s a very special time for us. We’re both passionate people and don’t do anything in half measures. When we disagree, it’s total. When we agree, it too is total. We love each other fiercely with a loyalty that is fiery. Our parents, and the aunt we adored beyond reason, have passed away. We’re all we have left of our family, yet when we get together for our annual celebration, the passion of our tribe burns red hot. The powerfully unique spirit of each distinguished family member, those who were once here with us, is living and energetically present. I would say this is a time of year to remember, but we are two who never forgot.
Gabriel, her son, has turned an unbelievable 18. He too experiences life with glowing intensity. He posted on Facebook that he went to sleep a boy and woke up a man. I love that he has the Gudenas trait of dramatic hyperbole which to us seems quite natural. Our sense and sensibility is extremely fine-tuned with sensitivity turned up high to even the smallest of things.
We will laugh, we will love, we will passionately discuss, we will hike, we will explore new places, we will celebrate, we will tell each other everything, we will have a week like no other.
Yesterday I bought a beautiful Christmas tree, a Noble Fir that has scented the house with an incredible and exhilarating fragrance. Last night, with a mug of hot spiced tea I decorated this large fir, humming along with Christmas carols from all over the world. When I turned on the lights, I thought my heart would explode. The 3 cats were overjoyed when I first wrestled the tree into the house, and then were completely over the moon with the decorations (this morning I was lovingly picking the ones they could reach, off the floor and hanging them back up).
I’ve been writing Christmas cards, sending special messages from my heart, reflecting on the love I have for each person I’m writing to. I’ve been opening cards and smiling knowing how much each person who wrote me means to me, how they live in my heart, securely where no time or distance could fade the forever-love we have. I thoughtfully place each card in a special place. A dear friend has given me a Fuyu persimmon tree for Christmas and I am admiring this tall stick, imagining the future when it will turn into the “mighty tree” she tells me to expect.
As I walk through my village, through lovely shops full of exquisite creations, people are smiling, happy, greeting each other, full of cheer. I see the briefest of interactions between them and marvel at how much beautiful generosity people have, how much love, beauty, willingness to share.
In the coziest of soft arm chairs, listening to sweet voices soaring high into the heavens, I wish you were here to hear it.
Swept away by the harmony 2 beings are capable of creating, songs of beauty and souls touching, I experience a world where moments of communion blend together to make a season of profound kinship. I could sit here and write you forever.
Wishing you a magical season full of all that stirs your soul and fills it with joyful kinship!