Feeling deeply into this holiday season, I wish I could present everyone in the world with a present. I know! Impossible, right?
Only I don’t really believe in impossible anymore. So, what then may I gift but a story for you?
My Mother, the Magician
When I was young, my mother was the queen of the winter holidays. As the hub of the family wheel, she (like many mothers and grandmothers) had a giant meal prepared for the family to share on every holiday.
She was not only the mother to me, her only child. She had 4 step children, and 6 foster children too. There was a lot of us to feed and care for, and she worked full time to make that happen.
There wasn’t a lot of money, but everyone got what they needed. Special occasions like birthdays and holidays came and went, and no one ever did without a gift or gifts. She made that happen, and did it with 11 children in the house.
She was also a sister to five siblings, and as the oldest of them, they showed up at our house for holiday feasting too. Holiday gatherings were big affairs in those days at my house.
With all these people coming to eat and share family time, there was sure to be some friends coming too. We never knew who would show up to join us. Who is the new (or old) boyfriend or girlfriend or best friend? Like a surprise package that arrives, these guest appearances were also a big part of the excitement and fun.
My mother would secretly shop all year round for gifts. A thrifty soul by design (and by necessity), she would choose lovely little gifts and stash them under her bed for when she needed one for gifting. For holidays or birthdays too. No one showed up unexpectedly at Christmas in those days that didn’t get a gift of some kind.
It was like magic! She was like the magician! Santa didn’t have anything on her! It still amazes and inspires me when I think about it. (Gosh, I miss her.)
True Value of Gifting
What exactly these small gifts were wasn’t the point. The point was that no one should feel left out. All should feel included, and to surprise people in this way was her delight.
Along with her talent of accepting people just as they are, she was a love maker of the highest order. She taught me more about unconditional love than any library ever could. She did this by modeling it to me, by being a living example.
I worshipped her for the love she brought me. The only times I remember disappointing her was when I failed to appreciate the true values that were so obvious to her. And the power and pain of disappointing her still stings a little bit. Yeah, she had this power, and not only over me, either.
Enduring True Values That are Always Abundant
Home, family, love, acceptance. These are the true values, and the few sharp words she ever had for me were related to giving me attitude adjustments when I was too bound up in my little bubble of emotion to notice the abundance of good things I had.
Her and I are so different in many ways, and yet, as I approach 60 years old, I see her in the mirror at times, surprising me. I choose to not have children, a choice she once told me she also would have made, had she had a choice. In her day, such choices were only beginning to become available.
Life brings us what we need to fulfill our destinies though, and it’s clear from my own experience of her and those of my many siblings, that she served us up some powerful teachings in how she raised us.
She was, first and foremost, an awesome teacher, and it is these foundations she gave me which brought me through a long and difficult passage through near death and through long term addiction as well.
Masters appear in different forms. Human masters like her have something to share with us, and these are the mightiest and most useful gifts that never wear out and never fail to sustain us through thick and through thin.
My Virtual Gift to You
If I had my holiday wish to gift everyone from my heart, I would wrap up and deliver the following epiphany to each one. This epiphany is that appreciation equals LOVE.
Without the ability to appreciate what is, right here and right now, we missed it. No one else, no thing or circumstance, nothing may take away the personal responsibility we have to appreciate what is in front of us.
It’s a matter of focus and a matter of maturity too. An act of mastery of the highest order. We can do this anytime we please. We only have to want to.
So, if you like, let’s play a game in virtual space. Imagine I hand you a gift box nicely wrapped with your name scrolled on a tiny tag.
‘For me?’, you ask.
Well, it has your name on it!
As you open the gift, you wonder what is in it. Removing the ribbon, you lift the lid to the box. Inside, you find a living beating heart!
Is this my heart, your heart, what can this mean?
As you look at it, it reveals itself to be your heart and my heart, THE heart of the world and the Universe too. It’s all the same heart. How can this be? And yet it is so.
Following this realization and surprise is the stunning realization that all of creation is waiting to be loved. How could we have forgotten something so central and so essential, so simple and so basic?
This moment invites us to choose again. In the highest magic available in this Universe, each moment is a brand new world, should we choose to begin anew.
May you have the best holidays ever this year. It’s been a tough one for most of us, from both personal experience and the reports I get from my peers. It’s been my ability to focus on true values that has sustained me through this last year.
I wish for all of you to have what sustains and what inspires us all to keep up the good work. The good work of modeling and expressing LOVE, no matter how difficult the circumstances. For, if we don’t do this, who will?
All my love, and the very best wishes from Gaia Scenics’ View to all of you. Thank you for your participation in our joy and our collective journey!
Written for Gaia Scenics’ View
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