It’s not writer’s block this time. I’ve been chewing on what to say this year that’s either profoundly Pagan in nature about Yule or more focused towards being a Pagan mother. I’ve come up as bare as a leafless tree waiting for snow.
I haven’t focused on religion or spiritually in my personal life. That part has been coasting along just fine. I’ve had my head buried in writing and working on some graphic art projects while being a better mother and wife. And grieving a bit too, as half of my heart family moved away.
Yet Yule is a few days away now and I didn’t even register it until my husband and my girls were putting out the tree and my Yule log came out. It’s even lighter this year than it was last. It’s drying out bit by bit. Holding it now makes me feel I am holding on to a frail old woman whose bones could break too easily. The vitality that the log once had is gone.
I watched my girls accept all of this as normal. The tree went up, covered in lights and decorations. The log was placed in a prominent corner of the room, decorated and treated with far more reverence than the tree. And I was lost in melancholy thoughts. Questions such as “did your mom do this too?” and “have you seen Santa?” quickly passed as excitement was pushing them forward towards exciting pursuits.
I was floored. How do I explain I have no real connection with Christmas? My last Christmas I remember was when I was four years old. That memory is very vivid, of making paper chains, popcorn and cranberry strings, of snowflakes and paper stars, and hearing my mother’s laughter and smiles. I have no idea what presents I may have gotten beyond a rocking horse that I loved. I can hear her voice, her words and her laughter when I got on it for the first time. smiles
A four year old’s memory. I didn’t understand why something so good, so pretty, something that made her so happy had to go. I didn’t understand why it was so evil, so bad, so dreaded pagan that I would not be able to participate in it throughout my school years. How do I explain to them the drastic religious conversion my parents went through? How do I explain why I have trouble with Christmas?
So, I smile and nod. Pat their little backs and encourage them to hang up one more ornament and let their father field the questions. At least he grew up with Christmas and won’t choke on these questions like I have. And they know I have Yule.
It’s as close to celebrating something in the winter holidays I get, outside of trying to stay up till midnight for New Year’s Eve. It’s a solemn celebration for me. In reverence I’ll help my little one light the candles and let their light shine in the night as I watch over them. Later after everyone is tucked in bed, I will go outside and stare at the few stars up above, listening to the quiet night contemplating what makes this night different than all the other nights of the year.
May this Yule be a bright one for you and your families.