I love that the word holiday comes from “holy day”.
Holy–exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.
That’s how I view time spent for the holidays. Time in itself can be holy in this fast-paced world, but especially when used to reflect and connect with people we love or just with people with whom we share DNA. Time spent with family, chosen or biological, whether we like them or not, whether we get sick of them or not, tells us about ourselves. Whether we see ourselves in them as shared formative years have shaped us together, or whether we just observe how we react to past patterns, energies and traditions. It is an opportunity for redemption when old wounds uncap. It is a chance to practice being “perfect in goodness” and forgiveness as we experience any perceived wrongs. We hold our tongue and make peace and if lucky, learn from that. But mostly, we are reminded from where we’ve come and what is important. That kind of time is holy– a “holiday”.
We had a pretty wonderful holiday—blood relatives stayed 1,000 miles away. We did reach out and there were insights to be discovered in what was said and what wasn’t–more chances to grow. We celebrated two and three special events with the same dear people with we’ve known for over 40 years. The time spent with my “chosen family” was gratifying and affirming. And the time spent with our daughter and her fiancé’s family gave us a chance to re-hash parental shortcomings and willful childhood behavior creating an opportunity for understanding. Feelings were warm and gracious as we all speak of their life together.
As usual, for me, whenever there is a chance to note or to take stock of feelings and significances and see the fabric of the past I know it will inform future creative endeavors. I can’t directly correlate just yet but it can’t be helped when work stems from an authentic self. We are as we spend our time. Pondering a subject or struggle with a painting will be influenced by revelations or reassurances that happen over the distinctive time we call the holidays.
A holiday can be a holy day regardless of any religiosity. The time we allow for gathering, for loving and for celebrating allows us to catch a distinct glimpse of “home”, an exalted place that can serve us in the work to come.