I love this time of year.  I light candles at twilight and sit with the flickering light.  We had our first fireplace fire of the season. Delight. Now, this morning, the fog is in, hugging the house tight.

The news, of course, is sobering, and yet, people come together this time of year, unite.  It’s a time to pause and be with what’s within, to honor the light birthing inside.

Since the vowel I seems to stand out this morning, I’ll delve into my December nourishment.

This time of year, I pull my favorite holiday books from their 11 month place on the shelf.  I re-read Wind in the Willows of course, but there is another book that celebrates the season, The Father Christmas Letters.  These illustrated letters written between 1920 and 1942 by J.R.R. Tolkien were for his children and may have provided the inspiration for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.  Each year the letter explains what’s happening at the North Pole, and why the gifts might be scanty that year.  

Each year, the North Polar Bear, trying to be helpful, makes a huge mistake that destroys most, or all, of the gifts.

The North Polar Bear is the most lovable of bears, a Winnie the Pooh type bear, and each year I imagine the excitement of Tolkien’s children as they ran to their stockings to see what the NPB had been up to that year.

Amazingly, Father Christmas wrote letters to my children, too, sharing the exploits of NPB, and now I have a grandchild, and Father Christmas may need to step away from his hot chocolate and candy canes, and shake out his hand and fingers as he sits down to write of exploits at the North Pole, where in the last letter I believe life was a little shaky from melting ice, and the Pole was leaning, requesting support from those who love bears, whales, otters, and seals.

Pablo Picasso wrote: To draw you must close your eyes and sing. 

Let’s draw new breath, close our eyes and sing, and when we open them again, who knows what springs and wings.

One of my favorite books!

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