Yes, it's a time of joy and presents. My area just got a veritable dumptruck of snow, and it looks really gorgeous outside. DD and I finished our tree last week, and it's beautiful! I've got a tiny part-time job, which will end this week (and yes, I like working, it makes me happy). My favorite rocker is home with his loved ones, enjoying (I trust) the holidays and the time away from the road.
My prayer list is full of newly-diagnosed cancers. (I belong to an online Buddhist community which maintains a prayer list.) The writer of one of the newsletters I read just got a diagnosis of leukemia. Suddenly, I'm surrounded -- again.
Those of you who know me personally know this story in all its particulars. The very brief version, for my new friends, is that between July of 1998 and March of 1999, my family lost: my mother, my mother-in-law, my stepmother, and my mother's brother, all to various forms of cancer -- initial diagnoses, metastases, and brand-new versions of something thought cured.
So we (DH and I) were stunned into stupor; and I became sensitized to cancer. Now I can see it, when it's about to manifest in the body, and sometimes as it metastasizes. It's a very small portion of my practice.
And whenever I am surrounded again, as I am now, I shrink in dread. Is it happening again?
Time for me to ground into the daily: do dishes, vacuum; and meditate. Back to the middle, to balance. Recognizing that life is a roller-coaster, and what I control is my reaction.