Constructing Wonderland: We Can Have It
(Mike DePung — Post 300)
Yesterday, I wrote about how I enjoy this holiday season. My mom really enjoyed it. Her birthday was on January 22, and we often kept our tree and decorations up till very close to then. She never wanted the beauty or feelings of Christmas to end.
Mom saw the possibilities inherent in humanity demonstrated during that time. She loved the movies that showed the love and benevolent side of people like White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. A complex of reasons existed for that, but I want to focus on one of them for tonight. I also wish to share a portion of a poem I wrote about Mom, a poem that helps explain what I observed.
I value these holiday seasons for how they reflect the desire we have as spiritual beings to know eternal Spirit through our own Heart, that identity of eternal Spirit in us. The sentiments and symbols and activities of billions around the world this holiday season reflect a craving of people to connect with that core Self. I know; I felt it often over the years.
However, this just satisfies for awhile, and then people beat a retreat back into Ego. We care about others, we see possibilities for how society could be different, we seem so damn close to something great and beautiful — and then, it’s over.
The only reason it ends is because the mass of people do not hear the pleading of Heart to connect with itself. Seasons like this offer great opportunity; however, when we allow the opportunity to pass, it leaves us feeling worse, more desperate, more depressed, or maybe even angrier than ever. Coming so close and then coming up empty leaves Ego to rationalize with us.
Here’s the point: we all, at some point or another, want to know core Self; we all want to know who we are and why we’re here. Times like Christmas and the other holidays pull us close to the connection to the really big picture, the connection we all long for. Heart uses those times to hint at our personal truth and purpose.
For many people, like my mother, to be so close and never quite getting there means depression. That is a vicious cycle, because depression prevents us from being functional, making decisions, and every time anyone misses the opportunity, it creates greater depression.
We sense Heart but don’t make that choice to boldly step out and live in love of Self, Heart, and Spirit and create a Purpose when we discover our own self-identity. When we have no purpose, we have no reason to be here. More depression.
Before I share some of the poem I wrote for my mom, I want to make it clear I love her. I wrote honestly. You should probably also know Mom died many years ago.
Christmas — hope, light, new life of the Savior — awed her,
Awakened in her the possibilities of knowing her dreams,
Her hopes, a fulfilled life….
I always sensed, though, she was living in that
Reality of unrealized dreams —
Too much to bear without some sort of assuagement.
Christmas helped ease the pain
Because for a brief time — escape
To another wonderland —
…the white, fluffy-looking tree we had for several years.
I think that one was her favorite.
At first I didn’t understand why,
But I, too, grew to enjoy it
Because of its magical quality —
“Like a soft, white, puffy cloud.”
The wonderland, perhaps?
Life — hard, rough, dirty, impure
Tree — soft, white, pristine;
Life — earth-bound, limiting, unrealized dreams
Tree — cloud-like, transcending limitations,
Mom and I created the rest of our wonderland along with this tree…
She often left our wonderland up till the latter part of January,
Not laziness but rather reluctance to refute
The possibility that life itself could be the Wonderland.
Eventually, we packed it away,
And Mom retreated to her insulating game of solitaire
At our paper-laden, disheveled kitchen table…
This is not the complete poem; some parts of it are still, all these years later, a bit painful for me. These lines revealing my thoughts and memories of our holiday contain the essence I wrote about earlier.
When we don’t choose Heart, consciously say, “Okay, Heart, who am I? What do you have to say to me? What are we all about? What will my Purpose be after this conversation?” or something like that, we will not make that connection. We will see possibilities, what-ifs, if only, shoulda, coulda, woulda, and whatever other “I almost had it” ideas, and we will end up resigned to desperation, sitting at a table, playing a game all alone, hours followed by countless hours, until decades pass.
It doesn’t have to be like that. It could have ended up like that; I know what I’m talking about.
This holiday season, whatever cultural persuasion you may follow, listen closely and see if Heart doesn’t speak some words of hope and light, purpose and love. Respond to your Heart. Seek it. These holidays have their origins rooted in this most basic desire of humans to connect with eternal Spirit by coming to know Self. Now that is the Wonderland.