On Christmas Eve I woke up and walked past the mirror and glanced at my reflection. I do not have high expectations of how I look when I first get out of bed and often laugh at my Hiawatha hair. But this was different. I almost didn’t recognize myself. Something was wrong. I looked at my eyes. They looked flat and dull. Still in logical, rather than spiritual mode, I got out a flashlight and looked a little closer. Then it occurred to me, my eyes lost their sparkle.
Knowing my life needed a spiritual boost and not a visit to the optometrist, I sat down in front of my altar and began to pray. I’m a devout Buddhist and my daily ritual includes reciting part of the Lotus Sutra every morning and chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Since this is something I have done daily for more than 20 years, there are times when my prayer – or chanting – is not as powerful as it can be. On this particular morning I made certain I would not just go through the motions. I took a deep breath, thought about how grateful I am to have the ability to use prayer to transform my life and I connected with the enlightened state that all of us have within.
However, I still felt I needed something more to get me through the holidays. I went to the library and looked for Sonia Choquette’s newest book, The Answer is Simple…Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit! The city library had been facing deep budget cuts and this included a cutback on the purchase of new books. However, much to my surprise, they had a copy of Sonia’s book. Unfortunately it was checked out. I put my name on a waiting list and was told they would request the book from another branch. My spiritual pick-me-up would be in my hands in a couple of days.
However, I still felt like I had a little work to do. I went back to the library shelves and found two other books to generate a little internal good will. I made my way to the self checkout desk and proceeded to check out a book on aura cleansing and one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. However, when I scanned the book the computer screen directed me to talk to a librarian. I figured something must be wrong with the book’s barcode. My initial reaction was to forget about the whole thing, but not wanting to leave empty handed I marched over to a librarian for assistance.
Much to my surprise, less than 10 minutes after requesting Sonia’s book, and before I could hightail it out of the building, someone returned the book, a library clerk checked it back into the system, and it sat on a cart waiting for me to take it home. Even Scrooge would have to take note of the incredible timing of this little Christmas miracle.
Before I left the library parking lot I took the CD that came with the aura cleansing book and popped it into my CD player. My mood shifted into a more spiritual realm as I considered my good fortune. When I returned home I began reading Sonia’s book. Within the first few pages she outlined the symptoms of a disconnected spirit – right down to the description of eyes that have lost their sparkle. I was living through my ego and not my authentic, spiritual self. No problem, I was ready to reconnect again.
All of the serendipitous events of this Christmas Eve were not lost on me. I was fortunate enough to take note that my eyes lost their sparkle and I took the initiative to do something about it – pray. With a body fueled with good intent and a desire to make positive change, I went to the library at the right time to get exactly what I wanted and needed. And not what I needed two days from that time, but at the exact time I needed it most.
On Christmas morning I was in the mood for a little levity. During the holidays I have a silly, little Christmas comedy medley I enjoy listening to. Unfortunately, no one else in the house shares my enthusiasm for these songs. And to make the matter worse, my favorite tune, the first one on the CD, had been skipping. My spouse (who usually hates hearing these songs) suggested I play it. Now this is not exactly a Christmas miracle, but for those who know CB, it is pretty darn close. However, there was one caveat, if the music skipped, I’d have to play it another time (when CB was running or hitting golf balls in the yard). I turned on the CD and it played with no problems. To my delight, CB listened and even laughed at the clever lyrics.
As the day progressed I went on to enjoy a wonderful Christmas luncheon with my siblings and nephew, and another get together with my ex husband, daughters, son-in-laws and granddaughter. These gathering are sometimes stressful, and the weather was cold and rainy, but my mood was sunny. It was a glorious day. My one-year-old granddaughter, Rosannah, was an absolute delight. Her zest for life reminded me that life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. Of course she enjoyed her presents, but she was just as happy to rip paper, play with the boxes, smile at everyone, and show how she not only had mastered walking, but she could do it with her hands behind her back.
When I woke up the day after Christmas I walked to the bathroom and glanced at myself as I walked past the mirror. I still had Hiawatha hair, skin that bore the imprint of wrinkled sheets, and the typical stench of morning breath – but something glorious had happened. My eyes were sparkling again.