In Sweet Company

“My duty as a religious person is to align myself with the power in the universe I call God. Alignment is what relationship — any relationship — is all about.” — Rabbi Laura Geller, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

I’ve been waiting for it for a few weeks, punching buttons on the radio, holding the expectation each time I walk into the supermarket or a store to do some holiday shopping that I would hear it, hear a majestic voice sing “Silent Night” and blanket my heart with calm. The song never fails to lift me beyond the hustle and hassle of the holidays — of the world, for that matter. The respite is much appreciated when it comes.

As it is for many people, “Silent Night” has always been my favorite Christmas Carol. This is no small feat considering I was raised in a Jewish home. At night after my parents and sister fell asleep, often as  snow painted the trees outside my window a wintery white, I’d lie in my bed and sing “Silent Night” — all three verses — over and over again until I fell asleep. This was the beginning of a relationship I’m cultivating with silence and stillness that serves me Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

Today I was whipping around Berkeley, impatiently punching buttons on my radio, feeling a little blue that I had not yet heard my song. I was tired when I came home, and the house was cold, so I crawled under my covers to warm up until the heat kicked in. I lay in bed still thinking about the dearth of “Silent Night” when it occurred to me that I did not have to wait to hear the song, that I could pop in a CD or, better yet, that I could sing it to myself just as I had done in the springtime of my life. I am now, with hair the color of winter snow, the Mistress of my Song. I no longer have to wait for anyone to orchestrate my calm.

Though this “a-ha!” came quickly, it was many years in the making, and I have yet to perfect the skill. But in this moment, with this small but significant act, all is calm, all is bright.

Wishing you and your dear ones a joyful, peaceful holidays and a Happy New Year.

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