This magnificent palm thrilled me on a hike through a park in central Arizona the other day. Yet it did little to summon the cozy winter wonderland magic I typically sense during the hoildays in the Midwest.
Then it happened. An otherworldly sort of spectacle appeared the other night on our drive to Valentino’s for dinner. Something bright and grand and mysterious illumined the wintry night sky it stretched across with a tail of smoky white brilliance.
Do you see what I see? A glowing starry spot ignited our imaginations first…was it a meteor? An aircraft? An exploding star? Was it friendly?
Quickly I began recording the sky with my phone (see my Instagram here), and butter my biscuit, if that starry sight didn’t astonish me so much my body began to shake.
I phoned our son Jake at the cottage and demanded “Go to the backyard with grandma immediately and look to the sky.” So they did.
I phoned my sister Jo at my parents’ home, parroting the same instructions for the 15 or so relatives there. Within seconds, the entire clan who had gathered in Arizona for the holidays (as per my mama’s dream), were outdoors, fully present and transfixed upon one extraordinary thing: a massive, wondrous, shape-shifting glow in the atmosphere.
Friends, I don’t know about your families, but ours is rarely focused on ONE singular source of light.
Before we learned about the UFO’s origin and the launch of a SpaceX rocket, we voiced theories and pondered the meaning and experience of engaging with the spectacle. We noted the dramatic contrast of bright light against the black night sky as opposed to the effect against a periwinkle sky.
It’s the holidays so, of course, you understand my heart’s milieu.
One holy night, two thousand years ago a baby born in a Bethlehem barn caused shepherds to stop their watch. A bright star is said to have shone in the sky. “What was happening!?! ” (The exact words leaving my lips last night at the sight of the UFO on my video.)
The other day, I posted about a deepening hope and how our hearts can become a Bethlehem. Today, I am reminded our hearts can also become a Star in the East–luminous, loving, and full of mercy.
Some of the family will venture out on a hike in the mountains today, where they won’t spy pretty frosted trees or squirrels searching for nuts hidden beneath the snow. This year, Christmas wonder in the desert will not be framed by any precipitation at all. This Christmas, the thirsty clay under our feet, flowering cacti, and rugged mountains rising all around will remind us of the anchoring ground of being and invisible gravity always, always, invisibly holding.
This holiday, we will remember in a fresh, unspeakable way how the dancing light of a rocketing holy force can move through the heavens, move through souls, and move through the ages, pointing us to peace and making us whole.
Did you see the spectacle too? Wishing you light, happiness and prosperity in 2018, friends!
Peace to you right where you are.