A bond of peace, hope and community

Dear Friends,

Greetings on a wonderfully quiet and cool Sunday morning. As I finish my
morning coffee, I have been watching part of the video from yesterday’s
Festival of Lights in Atenas, compliments of Radio Atenas, our local station.
I am filled with gratitude for all the wonderful things I am able to enjoy, not
the least of which is the technology that makes it possible to communicate
with my loved ones across the miles. Get out early today for a bit of sunshine
and to feast your eyes and ears on the sights and sounds of the Season!

Although I admit that I am not one to go all out with the decorations or gift
giving at Christmas, I do look forward with child-like anticipation to visits
with friends and the special foods that seem to taste better around this time
of year. I feel privileged to be living in a place that has lots of large families
that still gather together to make those hundreds of tamales that will be shared
during the next couple of weeks. It is heartwarming to listen to conversations
and be part of the lively banter, memories that last long after the day is done.

Movies and Christmas carols are present everywhere. Some are silly and many
are quite solemn. Whenever I hear the Muppets and John Denver sing the
songs, I am transported to the days when our children were little and we
decorated and sang along. Those happy reminiscences put a smile on my face
and make me glad that I put aside all my chores to spend time with them
creating what would become family rituals that we can all recall fondly.

Our patience will be tried in the coming days as we find ourselves stuck in traffic
or having to do last minute shopping for forgotten items. It is important, at this
time, to remember that the real spirit of the season is not the external gift-giving
and partying, but the internal process that supports us so we can connect to
those in our world in a common bond of peace, hope and community.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

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