Living Well: Week 38-Joy and Woe

journey of the magi

Here we find ourselves in the last week before the Christmas holiday.  It’s been an interesting journey from March to December. T.S. Eliot in his stark poem Journey of the Magi wrote,

“A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey …

This set down

This: were we lead that way for

Birth or Death?

As we’ve journeyed these past months, we have heard of the death of many people and the death of the world as we have known it.  It has been a tragic year for millions of people. Eliot’s poem speaks of a physical, personal and spiritual journey with struggle, difficulties and a painful birth.

We have also been offered the gift of birth and renewal.  We’ve been challenged to hold on to hope, to make changes in our lives and to search for what gives us life.

The English poet, William Blake’s,Auguries of Innocence also speaks of this duality in our lives, withmore hope than Eliot,

Joy and woe

Are woven fine

A clothing

For the soul divine

Under every grief and pine

Runs a joy with

Silken twine.


The Christian holiday of Christmas and the Jewish writing of Isaiah offer,

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

On those living in the land of the shadow of death

A light has dawned…

For to us a child is born

In the midst of all of life with birth, death, joy, woe, light and darkness, I want to express my holiday wishes to you!  I’m so thankful to live in such a beautiful place on this west coast and in a caring community.  I’m thankful for my family and friends. I’m thankful for people and volunteerswho have gone the extra mile to provide:

  • food banks and Christmas hampers
  • Christmas meals for elders.  Special thanks to all the volunteers and drivers!
  • recycling and the free store
  • markets, local produce and crafts
  • churches, services and classes that have fed and strengthened our spirits, souls, bodies and have brought comfort and healing
  • merchants who have stayed open to serve the community
  • the Island Christmas Pageant that will be shared with the community on-line
  • home care, medical care and hospital services

In this season that offers us a light in the darkness, I invite you to find “a joy with silken twine”.

I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a Joyful Holiday Season!