Is love the answer?

January 6, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

A week, two, a month ago, you were singing about the twelve nights of Christmas and yesterday was that Twelfth Night. It is still a favourite in much of Europe and the world. January 5th and 6th are respectively “Twelfth Night” the Eve of Epiphany and Epiphany. Both are involved with the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth and the homage the Bible tells us was paid to Him. They are days of celebration and Epiphany is the day the Magi, the three Kings came to the manager, where Mary, Joseph and Jesus were, to honour the Baby Jesus and present Him with gifts.

Myth, story or the truth of what happened, there is no Santa Clause involved, the Jolly Old Saint having performed his own Christmas miracle of visiting all the kids in the world and now resting comfortably in his own hidden home. 

We used to celebrate Twelfth Night for years, a nice little echo, I thought, to the big bash of those twelve days previously. There was a proper buffet to fill the plates, an acknowledgement of the history and plenty of stories and wine to float them. More low key, for sure. Small gifts for the younger guests.

Before charging on into the New Year, I wanted to pause on these first few steps to reflect on more tender matters than those possibly to come. Ah, the controversies, the greed and lies, the possibly crushed optimism buoyed, I hope, by the dint of sheer determination to survive ourselves and save our fellow beings.

There has been a great deal of talk about kindness, about the awakening of the value of friends and family ­­– the new understanding that we need each other to talk face to face; to enjoy going to the theatre together; dining with each other. The tink of our wine glasses as we wish each other well. Good fortune – love – health.

How much more is kindness than to drop a coin in a beggar’s cup? Do the small gestures add up?

One of my interviews for this week’s paper talked about society bringing back normality. We might simply opt, without permission, for “herd immunity,” dropping our masks and shops refusing to close their doors, exhausted as we are all with businesses going out of business and government support waning in a hurry.

During the second interview, we were told how Covid proved the importance of family, large or small, those close to us. Is this a moment to heal separation? A time to gently draw together that which might have frayed?

Time is so short. Live a hundred years and on your Centenary Birthday, you will wonder how that time sped by so fast. I guarantee it. That is an inevitable grief and the only question left is: how well were those hundred years spent? 

Tell the truth: I am somewhat a fan of the extremely good time – the wine, the laughs- maybe the love. To spend some time really over the top – no driving home – we deserve some days to be wild to blow away the cobwebs, clear the stuffiness in our heads.

To tell the truth: ambition is a virtue but without burning all the other towers in order to be the tallest. No, ambition to produce the best we can – to make a mark for better on other lives – at large or within our own small circles. To win if not the love, at least approbation of those who dislike us and offer a hand of amity in return.

That Baby in the manger became the Man who [allegedly] said that it is no virtue to simply love those who love us – that’s a given, I believe, was implied. The strength of the soul is to love our enemies, those that reject and “revile” us. 

The saddest lesson of the last couple of pandemic years is coming to understand the true villainy of corporation and the corruption of our own Canadian governments, pandering to big business and box stores, industry that cares and believes in nothing but empty profit.

In this new year, we will have to struggle, to march, to write, to say no to all this; we will have to stand up for our children and their children and dolphins and polar bears and bees…

One thing is certain, whether we the voters will fix the economy, whether we are the impetus for actual moves to save our paradisaical planet, whether we shrug off our differences as irrelevant to what must be done, we must find a way to stand together. We have learned how small a village the world is now. There has been unheard-of collaboration and accord in the face of a global pandemic that has and is still taking its toll. Working together to close the world down in the global effort to stem the tide of disease and to find medical ways to end it.

Can we bind ourselves to each other across gender, race and culture? Can kindness matter most? Is love the answer?

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