Winter Solstice Introspection and Forgiveness
It seems as though the change of season always inspires me to write and reflect, thank you Rudolph Steiner, and my sensitivity to change. As busy as this time of year gets, I enjoy the opportunity for introspection the short days and long evenings allow. I hope you enjoy this tale of introspection.
12 days til Christmas, and time to get the tree. My daughters and I went to a recommended location that was new to us this year. On arrival we disappointedly noticed only three trees were available; one too small, one overly lop sided and one that was lovely—and quite large! It also cost a bit more than I planned on spending. The girls and I discussed the situation, and opted to buy the extremely bottom heavy, but beautiful tree. We paid, and a kind gentleman loaded onto our pickup truck, he even tied it for extra security and good measure.
As I am sure you are predicting, on the drive home I watched through the rearview mirror, the tree levitate out of the truck and onto the highway. I immediately pulled over and my girls gasped and yelled, “What are we going to do”?!? My first instinct and response to them was, “breath”. We took a deep breath, and then I reversed down the shoulder of the highway to get closer to the tree. In my head I started asking myself, ‘am I really going to run out and try and grab the large and heavy tree’? Miraculously, there were very few cars going by that were able to easily avoid the tree in the middle of the 2 lane road, and, even more miraculously no one was injured. As my contemplations continued, the most miraculous event happened. A man driving a pickup truck on the other side of the highway pulled over, and before I could even speak he ran out, grabbed the tree and tossed it back on the truck, as though it was light as a feather. I stared at him in disbelief and gratitude. I then asked him his name, put my hands together, bowed my head and offered him the deepest heartfelt thank you I could give.
The next day, I was thinking how a former version of myself may have faulted and blamed the worker that originally loaded the tree. Yet, in the hours after the mishap, it didn’t even cross my mind. That kind gentleman, with his warm smile, mentioned his 18 grandkids and showed me a picture on his phone of the small tree he opted for to make room for the mountain of presents for the grandkids after he loaded my tree. He did his best and I didn’t even have to forgive him, because the blame never existed.
A glorious weekend trip to Massachusetts ended with a missed 1:30 ferry home. My two daughters and I drove up at 1:25 and were placed on standby as the 1:30 ferry sailed away (it is required you be there 30 min prior to departure). There was a 2 o’clock ferry loading up, that we also watched sail away. Our standby location moved up to #3 position for the 3 o’clock ferry. Trying to hold it together in front of my kids, I experienced an inner meltdown. I angrily blamed myself for so poorly mismanaging my time.
We decided to take a walk to kill some of the hour wait. I wore sunglasses to hide my cathartic tears that felt like glass shards. I once heard it said, ‘if it’s hysterical, it’s historical’—such was the case—being hard on myself, blame, perfection, shame. I so easily forgave, and didn’t even blame, the man who tied up my fallen tree. Yet I crucified myself for running late and missing a ferry. My ego even looked for blood in my two daughters, who were innocently enjoying visiting with their cousins, to bestow blame on them. I’m glad I pulled in the reins. Instead of misdirected yells at them, during our walk we calmly discussed time management, taking responsibility, acknowledging that we made a mistake, dealing with the consequences and now the next step is to forgive ourselves. That lesson brought a silver lining. As the girls started to play, ‘don't step on the cracks’, on the pier of the water’s edge, I looked at the sun and silently recited my A Course In Miracles Lesson of the day, ‘Today the Peace of God envelops me, and I forget all things except His love’. My tears shifted from painful to therapeutic, as I released an old pattern of being hard on myself, which at times can lead to being hard on others. As we walked back to the car, a random person handed me a solicitation from a local church with scripture, which made me feel even more the peace of God envelop me. My prayers felt heard and my pain soothed.
As we decorated the infamous tree that finally made its way to the stand in my living room, we ran out of lights. I went to the store feeling this was an opportunity, as previous years we never had enough lights or a tree topper. At the store, I got the lights and was hopeful that after the long day a tree topper would magically present itself. I saw a bland (and unlit) snowflake topper, and was disappointed. I then looked down and saw a beautiful angel (that lit up)! Another miracle that signified the angel on the highway, the one that handed me the church solicitation, and the one in my heart guiding me on this life’s journey of self forgiveness and love.