For a number of reasons, my Christmas has been unfurling more slowly than ever this year. I am still writing Christmas cards both for myself and on behalf of my mother, who remains unwell. Once upon a time this slowness would have stressed me greatly but, in recent years, I have acknowledged that Christmas is as much about a journey/s as it is about an event or destination. That understanding of Christmas means I feel free to adopt a pace that is suitable for the purpose of the journeying.
And, in Christmas, there are several journeys. There is the obvious spiritual one which takes a lifetime…I am guessing…and usually cannot be rushed. There is the journey home, to the
stable to be counted, to be accounted for and, sometimes, to account for. Then, there are the Magi travels of discovery and inquiry and seeking ( the perfect light 😉 ) and these can be life-long too. Another journey which, perhaps, contains the essential truth of every voyage we undertake is ‘the flight into Egypt’; the journey where we leave behind the familiar and the known and step in to the new, the unknown, the unseen, where we may find safety and we may not. Sometimes, we take this journey by choice, sometimes, it is by chance but, by chance or by choice, it is rarely a journey embarked upon lightly.
This Christmas, our home was blessed by the presence of voyagers; my brother and his wife and their two sons who came from Sydney to be with us. With both our families we counted for 7 at the
s table. We rediscovered the pleasure of familial ties, and we parted, unsure of what the year ahead holds for each of us, yet certain that we have one another for the road as yet uncharted.
With my brother’s tribe came a foreign traveller, far, far from his birthplace; a small soapstone ( Kisii stone) hippo; come from the fields of Kenya to settle with us on the plains of Canterbury.
Welcome, little one, what a journey you and your makers are on. What a journey we are on.