Christmas is a wonderful time to believe in miracles. Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle.”
Consider the ubiquitous trees strapped to car tops, beckoning from store windows, or decorating your living room. While all the earth lies brown and dormant, an evergreen tree remains fresh and verdant, unfazed by winter’s harsh cold and snow. Underneath all the tinsel, lights and ornaments is a miraculous symbol of eternal love and life.
Our fresh-cut Christmas tree stands outside on the deck off the living room. Through unadorned glass doors, we have full view of our tree, simply decorated with an abundance of white lights. We frequently see birds flutter around the tree and alight on branches like a scene from a greeting card.
In my mind, birds carry garland in their beaks and gracefully drape the tree with gossamer ribbon. Woodland animals gather around the tree and sing carols. They are dressed, of course, in winter coats and scarves. And why not? Birds, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, foxes and raccoons are such magical creatures.
Just imagine seeing one for the first time! Sweet, cute, funny and majestic barely begin to describe them. The sight of one flying, hopping or scurrying through our yard thrills me and ignites my fairy tale imagination.
Christmastime brings out the child in us. As we get older, it’s easy to become cynical, to take for granted the miracles and magic and focus on the muck. Perhaps we get a little too big for our britches, too smart and sophisticated for visions of sugarplums and the like. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
With the innocence of a child, take a closer look at nature this season. A brilliant star, a red poinsettia, a silent snow, a newborn baby, all offer tangible proof of the marvelous miracles all around us.
Maybe then we will be inspired to do the very grown-up work of seeing and manifesting intangible miracles of grace, forgiveness, courage, hope, faith and love ~ all of the beautiful things Christmas is really about.