My mantle is empty. The neighbors lights are gone. The melodramatic daily hum has filled up days. Christmas is over.
I looked at my mantle: a wasteland of disappointment.
“Guess I’ll be looking at this blank canvas for another 11 months.”
Then it hit me…MOM’S MANTLE!
I pick fun at my mother. Each season or holiday is welcomed with new decorations. Buckets line her storage with spring birds, summer flowers, fall leaves, wintery branches, and every holiday trinket imaginable.
“Why do you do this, mom? It is so much work! It takes so much time!”
I ask her the same question at the turning of each season or holiday.
“I don’t know,” she replies, “I just like it.”
My giggles are laden with “what a waste of time,” and “what a waste of money.”
The truth is she has tapped into a hidden power. The power to remind us of the hope and thrill of being alive. Like kids do! Her mantle decorations are a glimpse into why life is worth living, and why it is something to celebrate.
There is nothing hum-drum about a day. It is a new bright and shiny ornament. A rebirth of the mind and body. Mornings laugh with the reunion of the sun on one side of the sky and the moon on the other chatting like old friends. Evenings settle as the moon and sun, again facing, whisper their farewells.
Passing years lie to us. “Yeah…I’ve seen that before,” says our dulled adult heart. Sunrise, sunset, that tree loosing it’s leaves and growing them back…it has all happened before. No big deal. No miracle here, folks! Carry on.
The low hum of boredom returns.
Except for mom’s mantle. It winks at us and whispers truth:
“Don’t be disappointed! There is no such thing as the spirit of Christmas. There is only the spirit of life, joy, and wonder. Christmas just gives us permission to tap into it.
Don’t forget…there’s wonder right outside your door. Watch as the trees slumber and hold tight to life! See the chilly air and bright colored coats of the children as they play! Isn’t that worth a yippie? And what of spring? WOW! Look at all the flowers and birds and animals stretching their tired winter hardened legs!
Hop to it, now! You have permission! There is a child inside of you begging to be let loose! Strike up a chorus! It’s time for a party today!”
Giggling at and judging my mom’s decorating has proven to be a pie in my face. She knew a secret. She tried to tell me, but I was too daft to listen. Though I most likely will not go “all out” like she does, I will count this as a lesson learned.
Next week, I’m dressing up my mantle. It has much to say but doesn’t have the words. It’s my job to give it words. Life is worth celebrating…so celebrate!