Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Between the horror of the school shooting in Connecticut and then yesterday's shooting of firemen responding to a fire in Webster, NY along with all the other turmoil in the world this is a Christmas of very mixed feelings. On one local blog that I follow some comments expressed the view that evil is in firmly charge and that good has lost. I confess to feeling some dismay at the state of the world myself.
I do not believe in a God who magically impregnates women any more than I believe there is a real Santa Claus living at the North Pole. We know for a fact that the designation of Dec. 25th as the birth of Jesus (not even his real name) was an arbitrary decision made several hundred years after the fact and that has only a one in 365 chance of being the right date, but it is what the various traditions symbolize that is important, (re)birth and renewal.
There are not a lot of things I 'believe', things that I accept without proof, but one thing I do believe it is that the triumph of good is inevitable, it is programmed into creation by whatever power brought forth the universe and sustains it moment to moment. I believe that system and human nature are 'rigged' for good in the end. At this point in the year when the ancients saw the day shrinking and figuratively dying, it begins to lengthen again, to rise anew. They created holidays to mark the rebirth of the sun, the beginning of a new cycle of nature. That is what we celebrate, that no matter what we humans do, good or evil, the cycle goes on, life begins anew.
When I was out photographing yesterday in the silence that is winter I could feel the new beginning that the Christmas story stands for. Some of those in despair are sure that there is a 'war on Christmas' but, as I see it, they are too caught up in the details of the story to sense the message behind it. There probably wasn't really a stable or a star, those are symbols in a parable to remind us that hope comes from humility and often seems to shine in the far off distance. The Wise Men symbolize those who seek in spite of difficulties and those who would deceive them. I find my truth in nature. I hope that my photos bring your some sense of what I find there. Happy Holidays whatever belief you choose to follow. May you have a wonderful new year.