Early in November I was given the gift of two beautiful candles, both crafted with great care by a lady who is recovering from major brain surgery. I was awed that such detail still lived in the hands of someone re-learning and regaining the use of neurological skills and was nevertheless determined to start a new venture. The candles were given from the heart as a thank you and they have filled my workspace with aromas of peppermint and pine for weeks without even being lit.
One of them in particular has given me great joy - a pale green Christmas tree dusted with sparkles and which has taken pride of place on my desk since the first day of December. As it catches the light from the window I am transported to dream as I do every year with the hope of snow and glittering frost on the bleak country landscape surrounding me.
My dream came to unexpected fruition one morning last week as I looked up from my laptop to notice silent white flakes softly splatting against the office window, sugar coating the ground, trees and rooftops and very quickly bringing light and a feeling of peacefulness to a world that has been through so many changes in recent months and weeks, with still some yet to come.
Unable to contain the child in me, I dashed from room to room, trying for the best view from each window before stepping outside to let the snowflakes fall on my tongue - probably not the healthiest option I know, but I have always done this even as a young girl and survived!
Facing and embracing change can sometimes require the kind of inner strength that can be hard to find when it is needed the most, and in every situation is the chance to find those sparkles of hope and light that can only be seen in the darkness.
None of us are untouched by challenge and change and some more than others, nor are we exempt from the learning process of life in its greatest classroom.
My tree candle is absolute proof of that.
I am particularly proud of my students who have been attending my workshops and groups in person this year, some over a longer period of time and who enjoy the interaction, company and the comradeship of other developing students. Not only have they needed to adjust to the online teaching experience, but some have needed to learn new computer skills which has been an enormous challenge for them, rather than loose the connection with their classmates.
Over the weeks they moved from a place of fearing the unknown and lack of confidence, to feeling empowered and accomplished. Part of that feeling is realising that life can be lived in normality at some level, even if differently, and that there is always the best in us waiting for the opportunity to shine.
I feel sure that the little tree on my desk winked at me having reminded me in that moment that to dream is not to live a life of fantasy, but to bring our hopes and dreams into reality. Something we all need right here right now and for the weeks and months ahead.
Wishing you all a safe and peaceful Christmas even if a little different this year for some, and where the unconditional love of Spirit and your loved ones is the steadfast and constant in change.