Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas day!! It was so nice spending it with my family – sleeping in, going for a drive through snowy roads, cooking together, and having a fabulous Christmas dinner (tofurkey – vegetarian style).

Me and my sister, Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa

Here is a little Christmas poem, inspired by the day, and the meaning of Christmas. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day

Snow falls softly,
amongst the evergreens.
A mother gently nudges her
children awake; while
gifts and treasures await –
On Christmas day.

Walking through the woods,
Taking pictures in the snow
Sisters laugh and pose, while
a father captures a cherished moment.
The faded sun looks on, peeking
through the treetops.

What did Santa get me? Did he listen
to my heart?
The sound of yesterday’s carols hum
in my mind, while
I close my eyes and wish anew,
for joy and love and peace to all.

May We All Be Flutes

This morning I went to the Ottawa Sai Centre with my parents. The Sai Centre is a spiritual centre that is devoted to the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a messenger of God, who lived in India for all his life and passed away a few years ago at age 85.  I love going there because there is so much devotion, love, and joy – the people there are committed to serving others and are always so friendly and helpful.

On Sundays my Mom teaches a class for special needs students, and I usually play the role of her assistant. We prepare crafts for the kids and sing with them – my Mom has a song called “Start the Day With Love” that the kids absolutely adore.

One of my favourite parts about being there is taking a tea break, and chatting with people and hearing what’s going on in their lives. Babies on the way, sharing spiritual lessons, talking about work (or in my case the hunt for work!), and being around the adorable kids that attend the classes.

My Mom, Dad, and I had decided that we were going to leave after three bhajans, but then someone began to sing a beautiful English bhajan, so we changed our minds and decided to stay. The song is called “May We All Be Flutes.” Kind of reminds me of my post from way back when, that I wrote around the time when I first started blogging and sharing with my friends and family. Here are the words from the song today:

Let Us Be Your Melody, We’ll Sing at Your Command
Krishna’s Flute We’ll Be, We’ll Sing His Melody
When Desire’s Gone We Will Finally Sing His Song
Song of Love, Song of Truth, Let the Melody Flow Through
Song of Love, Song of Truth, May Our Lives Be One with You

Krishna, the blue God, is known for his enchanting flute playing. His flute entrances the gopis (cowgirls) in Vrindavan, and especially Radha, who forgets even her name when she hears him play. I love the words of this song – it’s a reminder that each of us has a beautiful melody inside of us, and that the vibration of these words on your lips has a purifying effect.

After the bhajan we stopped to see the Christmas display. A volunteer from the Centre had assembled it that morning, and it was a sight to behold!! All the kids loved it, and the adults as well.

Christmas Display at the Ottawa Sai Centre

Overall a wonderful Sunday morning. Hope you all had a great Sunday too!

The Little Lord Jesus Lay Down His Sweet Head

Christmas is here. A wonderful day to celebrate with your family and friends and all those you love. I’m fortunate to spend this time with my family every year. It also really makes me miss those I care about that are not with me. It makes me think of everyone around the world, including those who are suffering, and wish that everyone could experience the love and joy of the season. When I was young I wrote a little essay on the meaning of Christmas, and as I read it now, the words still resonate (see image below). And when I hear the song ‘Someday at Christmas’, I dream of a Christmas where there is peace on earth, and love prevails. My family has a yearly tradition that renews my faith in humanity and love. We go to the Glebe Centre in Ottawa and sing Christmas carols to the seniors. First we go to the different floors and knock on their doors and ask who would like to join, then we wheel them down to the third floor, and we all gather and begin singing. A lovely woman Zorana plays the keyboard and her voice carries us through. We sing all the favourites, Silent Night, Away in a Manger (which always makes me cry), Deck the Halls, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and we finish off with We Wish You A Merry Christmas. It is difficult to see people who seem to have lost their Christmas spirit along the way, and amazing to see tears streaming down faces as their childhood songs are brought to light and emotions surface that they didn’t even know were there. I would try to look out at them while I sang, but then it would make me cry too, so I kept my eyes on the paper and my voice strong. Here are some pictures from the morning:

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I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

A lazy Sunday. I slept in until 11 (11:11 AM when I rolled over and checked the time).  I woke up to little Alexander knocking on the door saying “Miiiiiittta… are you awake?” and then he came in and jumped into bed with me, with my friend Gosia (his mother) in tow. They made me some coffee and I spent the morning colouring with Alexander. He made me a beautiful card!! Here is a picture:


Then the three of us went to the Christmas Market in the Distillery. It was beautiful. Santas and elves and gingerbread houses and snowmen, and a larger than life Christmas tree, covered with red ribbon that extended out into the sky. In the centre square there was an orchestra playing “I want a Hippopautomus for Christmas” (Alexander’s favourite song). Pure magic. I bought Alexander a stained-glass butterfly for his Christmas gift. He was so thrilled! He is working on it right now and is going to surprise me with it when he’s done.

I can’t believe Alexander and Gosia are moving! It’s been a wonderful two years having them live down the hall from me. Walking back and forth between each other’s places, late night teas and discussions about books, dinners together, and always knowing that the other is just down the hall. It’s the end of the era. I’m so excited for Gosia and Daniela. They are renting a house together on the Danforth. It actually has fig trees!!! I can’t wait for many more beautiful memories that will be created there.