Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!  I hope the holiday season was good for you.

Trixy and I have now completed 2 years of service here in Buea Cameroon.  This time of year is always a challenge for me.  For me the holiday season runs from American Thanksgiving to the New Year's celebrations.  It is a time for the gathering of friends and family.  It is time to reflect on that for which we are thankful; to be reminded that we are all living on this little sphere.  

This year I am missing - greatly - being with my family - being with my parents or at my brother Tim's.  I have already been wishing to go snowshoeing and skiing.  I want to run in the snow with Jordan.  I desire to drive through the Winding Brook neighborhood to see the lights of Christmas.  I want to enjoy 1st night in Boston walking hand in hand with Trixy.

I have a fun family here in Buea -- I appreciate them immensely.  Yet I am feeling blue.  I find myself simply feeling exhausted.  I am craving creativity but that part of my mind seems to be cut off.  

So I will just take a deep breath…  

Part of the seasonal celebration are the lights, glitter, music… the traditions with which I grew up.  Even more than the traditions are the brisk weather, snow flurries, and wondering if we might have a white Christmas.  The normal cues are missing here in tropical Buea.  Though this year the city has put up two Christmas trees at the entrance to the University of Buea AND on periodic street lights they have hung various types of holiday lights.  The Baptists have put up festive lights around their new church and in a nearby tree.  Other lights are also now strung up by individuals and companies.  The guy across the street is playing more Christmas music, both the sacred and the secular.

These are indeed just cues.  Love - a love without condition - is really what it is all about for me.  I personally believe that this type of love is the natural state of the Universe.  This season reminds me that love can be extended without reciprocity.  That we can ease the struggle of others - not that we have to meet their expectations, but that we find ways to ease one another's burdens, to lighten the loads.

Whether or not we agree about divine beings, I believe that your life, your story and mine are part of a much larger narrative.  Tomorrow becomes today and today becomes history.  I tend to live in tomorrow.  But it is what I do with today that enters history.  It is the actions of today that ripple through the lives of those who share today with me.  The actions of the day will contribute to building up of love, joy, and peace, or to fear, anger, and hatred.  The actions of the day begin with our thinking.

It is my hope and prayer this year that our thinking will be clear, that we will crave after right and good things, that our actions will be the by-products of love, joy, and peace.