Bird Droppings December 24, 2020
It is the small pieces that seriously matter not how many presents
I am about to be driving around to run some errands and read a holiday post or two. One caught my attention arguing the idea of Santa’s gifts. Santa is first a legend contrived over the years and developed sadly to be more of a marketing tool than anything resembling the original St. Nicolaus who would simply give gifts on Christmas. I have become callous in terms of the holiday shopping frenzy. As a scholar of theology the first Christian tradition Christmas gifts were symbolic representations of life, not that they weren’t precious or have value but the symbolism was more significant at the time of writing of the scriptures. I read about competition at Christmas time who can give the most sort of thing. I grew up in a household where every Christmas there was a pile not because we were wealthy and or well to do but because my parents would give freely. My dad would give literally all the time until the day he passed on. In my teaching many the time I would bring donuts or food in the morning which has led to a room full nearly every day. I try to give of myself every day.
“Until you can clearly see each piece of the puzzle you will never be able to understand the whole.” Frank Bird, grandfather, teacher and ponderer
So, I am sitting here on Christmas Eve morning 2020 in Between Georgia a long way from my birthplace and even where I spent my youth in Pennsylvania. I have traveled many pathways, spiritually, educationally, emotionally and physically as I journeyed. It has been many years since a vision of a jig saw puzzle woke me from my sleep. Over the years I have used that image of puzzle pieces and a whole puzzle in explaining life and its intricacies. My son added to my collection of ideas along the way nearly twelve years ago with a line from an Aerosmith song.
“Life is about the journey not the destination.” Steven Tyler and Aerosmith
I will go outside in a bit to get a few shots of the sunrise, but rain appears to be sticking around maybe snow they say. I may have been moving slow and thinking slower but got at least one or two good thoughts for the day.
As I sat here for a few minutes several ideas kept hitting me in the head. Literally every day I hear from a person could be a former student, a total stranger who read something I have written, a friend I have not seen in fifty years, maybe a member of a group I am in on Facebook, a cohort member from graduate school offering a thank you for a thought I shared or idea given. It is not about major successes but the small one at a time pieces that often float by unnoticed.
I find as I listed my somewhat ambiguous titles with the quote above grandfather first and at first that seemed just the right thing to do. As I sat back and pondered as I tend to do often it became the not only right thing but job one. It is we elders who provide wisdom and understanding even if in small ways to those who come after. In today’s hectic and helter skelter world moments get lost just like pieces to the puzzle.
So today as I do every day please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and all give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)