“Do the work of a spider, strengthening the web of relationships around us, and throwing out threads to enlarge it and pull ever more people in.” -Pamela Haines, in Befriending Creation, fall 2020
What could be more of the essence of this holiday season at its best than strengthening bonds of love and light in our world? And most especially this year as we all – all over the world – face perhaps the hardest time in our lives. We must hang on just a little bit longer! Not only for ourselves, but let us see if we can rise to our very biggest selves and reach out a hand and light to everyone possible. We see like never before that we are all in this together and that how we each handle it affects many others.This month’s Snippet will be my Christmas letter. I share here in a one page letter some of what the experience of this year has been for me. I’d love to hear what it’s been for you! We each have a little light to offer, a view, some experiences – Let us not belittle the gifts our life has given us. Thankfulness for our life could be expressed by sharing what love and enlightenment we’ve received. Even the unanswered questions that come to us can lift others to see they’re not alone in their own questions. What can heal our wounded ailing world? All the love possible. Throw out lifelines of connection and affirmation wherever you can.
My Christmas letter, December 2020
Dearest friends, What a year! Hard in similar ways for all of us and yet each has had our own unique challenges. I apologize for not reaching out more. I’ve often thought with love and concern toward different friends and family; you’ve probably done the same. Something in us has sunk inwards into a quiet place, like winter on a long scale.
Some highlights for me have been: With the help of my daughter Anne Marie, we created a website for sharing my writings! I’m writing one blog (a “Salty Snippet”) per month now, more writing than I’ve done in awhile. I hope in the quietness of January- February you might check it out: www.martimatthews.com
Summer was scaled-down: I never once got to my beloved Lake Michigan dunes and waves. But I did stroll around a good deal on my three wheeled bike, pausing to chat with neighbors, greet the many old trees, watch the clouds. As all beaches were closed, I got into water only once, pretending with the grandkids to fall off our paddleboat.
The Unitarian Writers Group I lead, “Writing for Spiritual Growth,” met outdoors under the wide sheltering boughs of my great Maple. I’ve participated in online book discussions: With the Progressive Spiritualists we discussed Dr. Brian Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters on past life regression, then Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth, and finally the true Scrooge story by Dickens. With First Friends I read Elaine Pagels’ personal story Why Religion. Am reading Heidegger and Jungians on Nietzsche, who fascinates me, and loving the poetry of David Whyte and Mary Oliver. Fall Creek Friends Meeting is so small we meet once a month in person, with windows open into the quiet cemetery around and much space indoors. I make the rounds online with various churches I love, each feeding me in different ways.
John started high school and Adele sixth grade completely online. They did pretty well, but got a bit behind so grandma took up tutoring. I finally got to read Homer’s Odyssey – what an adventure! Then learned about the Ming Dynasty (I’ll bet you don’t know that info), the details of the bloody French Revolution, and -again- the famous “fall of Rome”. While also watching our own country sink low and split apart in hate, mudslinging, and dishonesty. And now our lives are threatened as Covid shows our unwillingness to obey Nature or to concede personal freedoms to care for each other. The best potentials of this nation have yet to be discovered.
Anne Marie is trying to do her part by developing online courses, meditations, and activities in earth-centered spirituality. “Intuition Immersion” is her platform, emerging as a viable course to help people grow healthier and wiser. On Facebook, she is under “Moon Mysteries.”
I submitted and then unsubmitted my children’s book Cakes for Mistakes, which will be my first January project. In a week I’ll turn 76! The horizon looks different from here: I’m missing so many loved ones./ I’m feeling more comfortable with all of us as imperfect, always growing. As Jewish people do at their New Years, I ask forgiveness of anyone I have hurt, and I give complete forgiveness to anyone who has hurt me. My heart sends a big imaginary hug to each of you; I would love to hear from you. God bless us, every one!