And so on another year we are called upon to reflect. Aah, to reflect; that moving motion of existence, so human, so uniquely human. I think of my life in stages, never wanting to retrace the same ground twice. I am satisfied by growth, by this movement; yet, when I reflect upon some of my momentary darkness of the past year I recall images of times when life seemed much less complicated. But these reminiscences are doctored visions, brightened by forgetfulness and sprayed with rose petal perfume. Life Is, and this truth, so often antagonized by religious, philosophical and fearful theories – mere comfort candy – is what makes life worth living. “We are (magically), fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are not governed by lists of dos and don’ts or imprisonments within commandments. These serve as vehicles of disorder, stripping us away from the authentic gift of the Giver: joy shelled within destruction, order within chaos. Jesus’ birth was not an entirely glorious night for Mary and Joseph. It was centered around rejection and loneliness, fear and questions, three wise men and a dirty manger. His royal entry was anything but a royal entry. Still, this is where the miracle is: within the darkness, there is light. The two are dependent upon each other. I see my life much in these terms.
I am thankful for the gift of life, for the days that feel endless, but must one day end; for laughing children, despite their hunger, their pain; for “a wife who really loves me . . . and a little baby daughter who plays games around my feet”; for family, the good and chilling; for a mother, who in her simple way, just believes; for a father, so complicated, who tries to understand; for a brother attempting to remember the tune (“God knows the tears that you have cried . . .”); for a sister who is a mother laughing to make me laugh (I sometimes hear the laughter in my aloneness); a sister who I’ve always adored, always loved to see her growth (you are no longer two – and I am thankful for this – your mind and heart); my brother who I never met until I was in my 20s, but who holds so many similarities to me; for my dear cousin Kimani and our ability to make amends and peace, despite both feeling hurt by the other; for all my friends of the past and present – for those who never give up on me: who stand there with me when I fumble on the edge; for friends to whom I speak no more (you have shaped me as well); for a God who understands my heart (“And the Lord’s people said, ‘Amen!’) – who has standards that are so much more complex and grey than our linear thinking – a God who knows that none of us will ever get it right until we die, yet still loves us despite our lack of knowing the movement of the wind. I am thankful for this and so much more.
I am thankful for all who read this.
I send you warm love on this Christmas day.