Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the Christmas Tree

There is no part of a Christmas Tree I do not like.: its pungent scent, its perpetual greenness, its spiraling shape pointing towards the heavens, its tenacious will for life even after being cut away from Mother Earth, and its wonderful compliment of colored garlands, ornaments, and lights.  What a wondrous site.!

The affinity I have for Christmas Trees goes back to the beginning of my memories, and
 all of those memories are associated with feelings of peace and joy.  I remember that on the first night of the day my family and I "put up" the Christmas Tree, I would get out of bed while every one was asleep and "plug in" the Tree's lights.  Then I would sit at the "feet" of the Tree absorbing its celestial radiance.  I was especially attracted to the lights on the Tree: the reds, golds, greens, whites, and the blues, as they spiraled the Tree from its top to its bottom, awakening the night with a dazzle of twinkles.  I felt such comfort, peace, and joy just sitting there next to the Christmas Tree. 

Even now so many years from my first memories, I still get those same feelings when ever I am near a Christmas Tree. Of course, as I got older I came to understand that my deep feelings associated with Christmas Trees were not unique.  Many people the world over are deeply affected by Christmas Trees.  An evergreen, decorated with lights is a powerful symbol in and of itself, but combining it with reference to part of the earth's cycle, the Winter Solstice, greatly enhances the power of the Christmas Tree to affect human's hearts and minds.

Trees have been powerful symbols used by human beings in all cultures, ancient and modern, to signify endurance, wisdom, transformation, and high aspiration.  There is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, who's fruit when ingested transformed humans from unconsciousness and amorality to the knowledge of good and evil igniting self-awareness and responsibility.  There is the World Tree, who's roots are growing from the heavens, and its limbs and leaves are attached to earth.  It symbolizes the universal connection between the spiritual and material sides of life, our dualistic natures.  The World Tree has been recorded in the ancient symbols of Hindu scriptures, in the symbols of ancient Maya, Inca, and Toltec civilizations, found also in the symbols of ancient Europe, and preserved to this day in the Scandinavian  Eddas.

Another powerful element ingredient with the Christmas Tree, is light.  Light is an essential part of our living experience.  The light brings renewal, clarity, and hope to our souls, and as such provides us with direction.  When this powerful symbol is related to the Winter Solstice and the Christmas Tree, we catch a quick glimpse at its quintessential, symbolic power.  The Winter Solstice is a part of the earth's yearly cycle, where the Sun's light is at its shortest exposure.  That is , the number of hours in a day that the Sun is exposed relative to night is its lowest.  This position of the Sun at its most southern point, represents the end of the earth's yearly cycle.  The old year, and all its trails and conquests have burnt out, and in great hope and anticipation the birth of a new year is ushered in with the beginning of the Sun's journey back north.  From the point of the Winter Solstice on, the Sun's light will slowly begin to over take the night, culminating at the Summer Solstice in June.

The Christmas Tree wraps those power symbols (Tree, Winter Solstice, light), together in an irresistible display of endurance, hope, and continuity.  Is there any wonder why, Jesus the Christ's birth was assigned to the period of the Winter Solstice?  Is there ant wonder why, the Christmas Tree fells me with such peace and joy?

Dear Reader, have a wonderful holiday season, and may the light of the new year fill your heart with inspirational dreams of joy.


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