The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast,
The day the music died."
--Don McLean, American Pie
My brain is made up of jingles, ditties, drumming rudiments, witty aphorisms and simple nutty sayings; if I didn't keep the upbeat musicality of the bouncing red ball, I'd have a whole lot of nothing. Much of that comes from my lovably crazy dad, and I do hope to pass that along to Beatrice (much to her future chagrin).
There have been more than a handful of times when the music died, however, filling the silent void with cynicism, anger and resentment. I've seen too many good folk, me included, decide that life just isn't giving them a break, that God isn't listening, particularly during the holidays and during a rough year for many folks in the heartland and around the world.
God is listening – listening for us to make the choices that make us sparks of divinity and universal intervention; listening for us to make the differences in our world.
I was raised a Christian and no matter the iteration of my faith today, I embrace all that is Christmas – the hope, the love and the rebirth of choice. (And my favorite Jesus is the little baby Christmas Jesus.) One of my favorite childhood Christmas shows was The Little Drummer Boy, the story of a poor boy who had no gift to give baby Jesus except for his drum playing. The greatest gifts are those of passion and conviction that come from the healthy heart – inhale, a metaphor for the love and acceptance I never got from my biological father, and exhale, the strength of unconditional forgiveness I have yet to fully give.
I played my drum for him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum…
My cousin Dori wrote a wonderful post about being active and present in the world in order to make it a better place, to focus more on loving and less on spending. As new parents (and even before the little honey Bea) we are active and present and focus on loving to keep the music alive. If each family that has enough gives a little to families that don't, this world would be such an amazing place and we could truly celebrate the miracle of Christmas every day. I believe it already is and the bad news media doesn't convince me otherwise.
Christmas is a choice. Choices are miracles that fill cold winter skies with well-lit hope. Celebrate the miracle of yours and rock the house.
Then he smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.