Posts Tagged With: menorah

blessings of love and light

We made our annual pilgrimage to the National Cathedral Monday to see the crèche exhibit.
I made a quick stop in Bishop’s garden on my way around the cathedral.
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It always seems to be cloudy when we go. I’ve looked back at four years of photos and the sky is gray in every single one.
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Doesn’t make it any less beautiful, but it sure would be nice if the sun would make an appearance once in a while.

I turned my attention to the cathedral. Much less scaffolding than in previous years. The repairs from the 2011 earthquake are coming to an end.
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Something stopped me in my tracks on the sidewalk towards the front of the cathedral.
What could it be?
Why robin birds, of course!
There were five of them flitting about the grass and sidewalk as we made our way around the building.
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I was so excited I could hardly stand myself! I spent quite a bit of time watching and photographing these little birds before I could tear myself away to go inside to see all the baby Jesuses.

Downstairs, I peeked in on my most beloved space, the chapel of Joseph of Arimathea.
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Then onto the nativities.
This one was made in Zimbabwe of jacaranda wood.
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I like that the figures are tall and lanky. I like that the shepard cradles the lamb in a way that mimics the way Mary holds her baby. I do so love nativities in which the momma holds her son.

Of course, there is something to be said of the baby bundled up in a basket.
This one was specifically made for the collection in Jamaica at the request of a Cathedral docent.
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I love that he sleeps with a little smile on his face. How many parents have watched our own babies sleep the same way?

This one is hand painted pottery from Turkey.
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I like that it’s just the Holy Family. I also love the traditional Ottoman style of the flowers and designs, not to mention the little rugs especially made for this nativity.

I remarked to YBW that I would only purchase a nativity if it was somehow unique or particularly beautiful. Well, this one sort of met both criteria.
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This gourd was specifically chosen then hand carved in Peru. I particularly love the stars on the back of the lid. (not pictured)

After going through the crèche exhibit, I found my way to the teeny chapel to say my prayers.
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I kneeled on the prayer bench and gathered myself before I began. After my conversation with God, I lit my candle in benediction. As the light grew brighter, my blessings reached far and wide to touch those for whom it was intended. My love and hope are overflowing.
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We left the cathedral and headed to the Ellipse to check out our National Christmas tree. I mentioned before that I love when Hanukkah and Christmas coincide. And I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that both the menorah and the tree were lighted at the same time.
Monday was the third night of Hanukkah.
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(Of course I was on the back side of the menorah.)

YBW wanted to look at all the state and territory trees, but I decided to stay in the inside circle around the big tree. All the trains were set up and running…so many little villages and trains…
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If you look closely, you can see the train circling the base of the tree.

My grinchy heart not only grew three sizes that day, it was filled with the love of ‘ten Grinches plus two’!
I’m waiting patiently for twelfth night. In the meantime, I’m still lighting menorah candles and saying my prayers each night between now and New Year’s Eve.
May the light of my candles bless and keep each and every one of all y’all.

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

tidings of comfort and joy (and donuts)

I got up early this morning to take friends to the airport. I left YBW and his two Things at home fast asleep.
My student (who’s mother died in March) and his daddy are going “home” for Christmas.
Their little family and mine have become so close that we are now truly a part of each other’s families. The little boy calls Thing 2 his daughter. He heard me say it once and then took her all around the school and said to anyone who would listen, “This my daughter, Thing 2.” He also says, “Thing G my favorite.” Mostly he says, “I go you house Robynbird?”
So Thing 2’s three year old “dad”, D has become a ‘nephew’ to YBW and me and his daddy, S feels to me like a ‘younger brother’. This morning I was their big sister/aunt and packed them up and drove them to the airport, left them with hugs and kisses and promises to let me know when they arrived safely.

A song that I always associate with Thing 2 began to play and I was flooded with equal feelings of joy and sadness. My initial concern about starting my day poorly with sadness faded as the song went on and joy overwhelmed my sadness. I’m relieved to realize I can feel sad about missing her but those feelings don’t consume me. The feelings of joy, the memories of driving too fast with the windows down blasting this song and singing it at the tops of our voices are too good to hand over to the sadness of missing my girl.

I drove home as the sky lightened with the idea to stop and get donuts to bring home to the boys…I know what each of them likes so it was pretty easy to choose a dozen and grab a cappuccino on the way home.
So here I sit, with my take out coffee waiting for three boys to wake up. The little Christmas tree lighted, the menorah waiting for it’s last few nights of candles, the stockings hung by the chimney with care and my heart filled with comfort and joy.
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I do wish these boys would get on up though, I’m hungry!

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