I Am the Child

I pull the little hand-carved Christ figurine from the box and place it in the manger. Next I find Mary and Joseph and set them on either side of the child’s tiny crib. As I do this my heart both tugs downward and rises upward. It’s an odd bitter sweetness on this snowy December evening.

These are the first Christmas decorations I have ever put up in my home of eight years. As I place the three wise men and a shepherd outside the manger, I feel like a kid playing with dolls. I am the master of this little scene, of these delicate hand-carved and painted figures that my parents brought home from Italy when I was a toddler. Now here they are on my entryway table.

Some 20 years ago this nativity disappeared into an attic, and I only found it after my mother’s passing in the spring. Their beauty prompted me to finally decorate my home for Christmas.

In previous years I didn’t because I would decorate and celebrate the holiday at my mother’s house. I would go out and buy a tree (see Scrooge Buys a Tree), bring it to her living room and set it up. I would string the lights and we, along with her caregivers, would adorn it with her most cherished ornaments.

After I finish setting up the nativity, I go about my days, editing, blogging, teaching, but slowly a strange lethargy comes over me. I can’t identify it, but sense the Beloved wants to me see something.

A health condition I’ve recently been relieved of, returns, which compounds the slow, dark feeling within. I chant my word, read my Beloved’s works and rest on the couch. These activities lift my spirit, but still I feel as though I am swimming through gray fog.

The weekend comes and I meet a friend to cross-country ski. With my lassitude, it’s a challenge to keep this date, but I do. We drive a snow-packed road to the trailhead where I turn off the motor. We sit in silence for a moment, and then I find myself talking about the nativity, about its grace and the childlike joy of putting up the figurines.

Suddenly I’m weeping, and my friend, who has been going through her own pre-solstice lessons, weeps too. For me, it is about saying goodbye to a warm holiday ritual I shared with my mother. Tears drip down my face and into my mouth, the saltiness a healing potion in the silence of this still day under a pumice sky.

After our tears dry, we climb out, put on our skis and head onto a trail dusted with some of the lightest, fastest powder I have ever skied. The sparkly snow clings to the pines and rises in fairy puffs as we brush the branches.

We ski and ski, over hills and through glades. As I speed along the fast parts I whoop with joy at some new freedom that has birthed within. It is a sense of my existence far beyond this physical body—a feeling of peace and love that radiates from me into the cosmos.

In the evening, I again adjust the figurines of the nativity, and as I lift the Christ child, I recognize what a stunning reflection this is. I’ve used my energy to adorn so many other homes, so many other lives—family, friends, employers. Now, in the ease of loving my Beloved, I draw that energy in, where it can serve me to claim my own self-realization.

Here on the eve of the solstice, I birth my own soul self, while the whole scene stands before me in my home.

I am the child born unto Thee.

Lesley

 

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23 Responses to “I Am the Child”

  1. al December 19, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Beautiful, Lesley…thank you. In addition to the Solstice there is another big event occurring right now. The sun’s magnetic field is reversing. This is BIG. One can put 1.2 million Earths inside the sun. Here is a short video describing the event:

    http://themindunleashed.org/2013/12/suns-field-will-flip-upside-within-weeks-says-nasa.html

    It should be a very interesting and accelerated time for all of us (the entire solar system) spiritually. Much Love.

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Thank you, Al, I will definitely look at this. I see so many people in the midst of major transformation right now. Truly a wonderful opportunity for us all.

  2. Logan Jo'el December 19, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    IT IS Beautiful Lesley….as of late an amazing Silence has fallen all about, I find the words in others mouths and weep in this silence where Love enfolds all that I Am. There is so much gratitude in this heart seeing the work you do that assists those who could use these words, who can relate in their own degree.
    I could say more but something tells me that Silence says more than the sum of words in thousands of universes.
    Much Love and happy solstice, baby Lesley.

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 9:23 am #

      Thank you, Logan. Your bhakti (love) presence is so precious. I can feel it in every word your write. No wonder you are such an amazing mystical poet. The Silence has been profound lately. I find myself stopping in the middle of a meal or as I walk and just listening to It, basking in it. Thank you for the reminder to pay yet more attention it It. And Happy Solstice to you, baby Logan.

  3. Marian Royal Vigil December 19, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Lesley, I can find no other words to describe this post but utterly exquisite. The whole piece shimmers with love, grace and beauty. Surely my Beloved is speaking to me through your sharing. Thank you.

    Many blessings during this holiday season.

    Marian

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Marian, I appreciate your kind words. What the Beloved brought through here touched me in a similar, shimmering way. I can’t describe the transformation well, but it is a sense of the omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence of soul. When we commune with the Beloved we truly become All.

  4. Rudy December 19, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I was so touched by the sweetness of this piece. The fond memories of Christmases past, of your mother, and the kindness of a friend who can just cry with you as you work to understand it all. The freedom of skiing pell-mell through your troubles was a powerful contrast of soul and mind, and the revelation the Beloved gave you at day’s end was just so kind. Understanding the true meaning of this sacred season, known to so few, requires a lot of simran and pleading for the Master’s presence to reconcile the quiet peace it can bring with the outer way it is celebrated, so boisterous and vulgar. Many thanks for this article (and all previous ones too), and may the blessings of the Beloved rain upon you and your loved ones during this special time of year. Happy Solstice!

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 9:29 am #

      You are so eloquent, Rudy. The profundity flows through you. Truly, as we come to understand and honor the symbology of this season, we expand into our true Beingness. That is our gift and the gift that we can give to others. Thank you, dear friend, for your kind blessings and all the gifts of consciousness you have given me over the years.

  5. Sheila December 19, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Just yesterday, I was wondering what happened to my parents nativity scene. Did it get given away with most of their other things? I don’t even even know where it came from originally. I don’t remember seeing it in May when we were going through all their things and perhaps if I did, it didn’t trigger any attachment in the moment. Now of a sudden, I ‘m waxing, or maybe waning, nostalgic about the Christmases of my youth, the rituals of Advent, the Christmas Carols , midnight Mass, about the holy family, the birth of God as a baby as one of us. All that was once as exciting to me as Santa Claus. Although I have no true desire to participate in a traditional New Mexican Las Posadas, part of me wishes I did, because I feel a loss of connection. I’m feeling that not being religious anymore, Christmas has lost for me much of its magic. This loss seems to be reflected in the increased materialism of our culture’s holiday season. On one hand I’ve grown weary of all the ritual and long ago abandoned the church-going but I miss it on the other hand and know what was cannot be re-captured.
    This year too is one of the first in which there will be no Christmas celebration at my parents or my own home, as my children are either going elsewhere or forming their own traditions in their own homes with their own children, as I myself did when they were small. I feel both relief and grief.
    Then I realize this is also part of the grieving of my parents and the letting go of all aspects of my past, so that I can better live this newly tasted glory of my own divinity (and I don’t mean the Christmas taffy), my own eternal now.
    Your posting warms my heart, shares this awareness that nothing is truly lost, that we all dance to the same spiritual melodies, no matter how they resonate in our physical realms.

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      So very true, Sheila. The outer rituals can be so enticing with all the lights and music, the shiny wrappings and yummy food, but then we are left to clean it all up, pay the bills and nurse the hangover! Fortunately the inner version never kicks back. It only opens to yet more love, as much as we can possibly bear. We are so blessed!

  6. Deb December 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    You know honey…..the Christ child statue at first looks like it is sitting on a piece of toast with peanut butter on it……and I had to laugh BIG…..so thank you! Perceptions being transformed!!

    These attachments run deep and the unwinding of them so beautiful with the Grace and Mercy of the Beloved! I, too, was hit with an overwhelming wave of sadness/loss/grief the other day as I was working out at the gym…..so much so I had to stop, leave and go sit under a tree to unleash this pent up “stuff.” Never really knowing where it came from and not really wanting to know….except that deeper purification was transpiring for the Soul to emerge in it’s Glorious, Stunning and shimmering Love essence.

    And that is why we are all here and why we are walking the path back Home!! So much Love sweetheart!

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      What a lovely story, Deb, and so true. There are those times when we just have to release, and likely much more than we even know washes away with our tears. Thank you, dear soul.

  7. Andre December 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Lesley, what a beautiful contemplative expression. I was transported right there with you. isn’t it interesting how we have these past impressions from our previous lives that we can now view in such a deeper level of understanding in how they have shaped our journey. This being the first full year after my mom translated, it’s interesting changing patterns (with holidays, rituals, family stuff) that has been a part of our lives for the last 50+ years.
    thanks and much Love, Andre

    • Lesley December 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Andre, you shed new light on this experience because in what you say I really see that many of the changes really are simply changes in our patterns. While the emotional body has its sad tale, truly these lower lives are made up of dead imagery. In embracing the new we open to exponentially more bliss and love.

  8. Jazzy December 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Thank you. So beautiful and touching. This is my first Christmas without my Mother. I find myself weeping and let my tears flow freely, as I float with my arms open wide, on the river of life.

    • Lesley December 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Beautifully said, Jazzy. What a wonderful attitude. Thank you for sharing it here. I too find the tears to be calming and centering.

  9. Deborah December 20, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Such treasures within your sweet story, Lesley. So much love to you as you rejoice in the rejuvenating flow of His transformative love.

    • Lesley December 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      Thank you, Deborah. And much love back to you as you celebrate the beauty of your new inner and outer home.

  10. Laurie Eastland December 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Oh Lesley your divine experience is so palpable to my Inner ears and eyes! Love to you sweet Soul.

    • Lesley December 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      I’m so happy you enjoyed this flow, Laurie. Love back to you!

  11. Lori Goetz December 25, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Thank you Lesley,

    Your message is beautiful, so universal, and so sweet…soul in expression.

  12. Diane December 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    What a lovely and poignant post Lesley. I love your realization at the end. Beautifully said.

  13. colleen buchanan December 26, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Lesley — this so touched me. I too ressurected my nativity set this year after a very long hiatus to serve s a reminder for me of the birth of the true Christ child within. It has given me much joy to look at and contemplate over this holiday season. Your writings continue to inspire me. Much love

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