I went to the cemetery yesterday. To lay a Christmas wreath on my dad’s grave. It’s been four weeks since he passed away.
I’m sorry to admit that dread slowed my steps a bit. Holding against the almost certain addition of gloom to the sea of grief I dip into, but don’t want to drown in.
I needn’t have worried, hesitated. The graveyard was awash in holiday signs of love, caring and remembrance. My Santa Hat fit right in with an abundance of wreaths, swaths of ribbon, even small Christmas trees with their decorations shimmered by the wind.
Which made me start noticing the vast array of other graveside offerings–photos, crystals, sculptures, and yes, even a small Lego creation, perhaps from a loving grandchild.
In short, a gallery of creativity and individuality–and humanity. The love exuded by all of these tokens swelled up and covered the cemetery in a peaceful, and yes CHEERY, aura.
Then, late in the day, I set off on a walk. All day long I kept chiding myself to hurry up so I could walk in the sunshine. Didn’t make it.
So, I slunked outside in what should have been dusk. But thick, dramatic clouds shrouded the sky. Darkness. At 4:40 p.m. (I know my friends in darker Scotland will think I’m a wimp. My Santa Hat goes off to you guys :).)
My Seasonally Affective Disordered heart sank at first. Till the feast of Christmas lights all around the neighborhood buoyed me with the resplendence of Christmastime.
As in the cemetery, people in the neighborhood have lavished their creativity and uniqueness, this time with lights. They’ve painted the night with a huge palette of lights. White, multicolored, blinking, icicles, LED, solar-powered, old-fashioned large bulbs.
Lit Reindeer, Santas, wreaths, trees, snowmen. Lights snaking around columns, spotlighting other decorations, and illuminating Christmas trees shining through living room windows. Even surprising displays of sheds and treehouses covered in lights peek from back yards.
Generosity. That’s what my two forays into darkness showed me yesterday.
People spreading the light and the love. Both to others dear to them and to strangers they’ll never even see, let alone meet. Where I think there’s only shadow, sometimes I just have to open “the eyes of my eyes….”(thanks, e e cummings). And see.