We pulled out lights down yesterday. It seemed soon, but then, Christmas was a strange collection of days this year so maybe it was the right time. We are now in the twelve days of Christmas, which traditionally start on Dec 25 and travel out for twelve days until Epiphany.
Epiphany is the season of the magi - the season of getting on one's camel and following the star. Appropriate inner work is done in seeking, openness, awareness, watching and moving. And the end of Epiphany is a burst of awe.
We want AWE at Christmas. Somehow the expectations of the moments leading up to Christmas and the giving of gifts and smells of turkey with fat aunts and hairy uncles circling the kitchen are needed to be the cause of a deep inner bliss. Santa has probably played into that as well - the idea that there will be some ultimate surprise descending on us.
In fact, there are few true surprises in life, especially now that the internet has come to be. Our weather is predicted quite accurately for us, the future parsed and served up like a dissected piece of fruit.
So where is the awe? Awe is possible when we become seekers. When we lumber onto our camels and follow whispers of God, watching and waiting with anticipation and patience to know what the gifts of Christmas mean, what our life means.
So pull down your lights and throw your tree out on the front walk to be picked up and ground into mulch for city paths. But don't ignore the light shining, ever so dimly, in your own heart. Keep your eye on that.