This year, for the first time in my life, I chose to spend Christmas Eve alone. It was a bit strange at first (probably because of old habits and precedents set over the years) but somehow it felt right.
On Christmas Eves past, I celebrated by giving or attending parties, dinners or holiday gatherings. We opened presents, ate too much, drank too much, and drove on highways clogged with other compromised drivers. I often felt a vague anxiety – worrying, comparing and dealing with family dysfunction.
Christmas Eve is a mystical night, abounding in godliness and love. I decided to spend it alone this year because I wanted to be quiet, to go deeper and create a loving space and a sense of peace within me.
Tonight, as the moon was rising, I soaked in a luxurious bath, grateful for the benefaction of water. Later, I played the piano, then cooked a simple meal. I took a short walk after dinner and enjoyed the lustrous light of the full moon. I prayed for my son and grandchildren and sent them my love on the wings of Christmas angels.
When I went back inside, I put on some soft music and lit a candle. I sat quietly, enjoying the richness of the moment. While beholding the candle’s flame, I became enchanted and inspired. A thrill of joy touched my soul. It was the most exquisite peace I think I’ve ever experienced. I was suddenly overcome with reverence for this beautiful, haunting, earthly odyssey. At that moment, as tears filled my eyes, I felt, ever so briefly, ever so lightly, the tender caress of divinity.