That Village

They say you know who is true when life gets hard.

The ones who stand forward are the ones who have always been there..

But sometimes, it’s the ones you least expect.

Not because you misjudged their character or their morals

But because they maybe aren’t with you in your every day lives.

All of these people, both the constant and the infrequent

Deserve an acknowledgement,

Some words of thanks.

Sometimes the people who show up

Are not the ones you would have expected.

They say it takes a village to raise a child…

I am that child,

and I am grateful, in this moment, for that village.

This is Tradition

…and in the darkness, stood a Christmas tree. The lights from each branch reflected in the eyes of those gathered. The evening was still and calm, and as more people approached, a lull met the atmosphere. The voices of children rose as they gained their confidence. Teachers stood by their side, encouraging, coaching, arms conducting as they moved their arms in time with the words coming from the younger generation…

“It was on a starry night, when the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping, sleeping calm and still.
Then in a cattle shed, in a manger bed
a boy was born, king of all the world.”

Families with torches shining down on the lyrics in their hands, paper blowing in the wind. Proud fathers and grandfathers with thick scarfs and gloves, ensuring the rest of the family are able to see. Leaning close together, gathering warmth. Smiles bright as they watch and listen to their choir…

“And all the angels sang for him,
the bells of heaven rang for him
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

The community together as one. This is tradition, of gathering and coming together, surrounded by the ones who light up their lives. Voices that are now louder and more vivid reach the end of their performance…

“Soon the shepherds came that way where the baby lay
and were kneeling, kneeling by his side.
And their hearts believed again for the peace of men,
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

And as their voices sing the last note, there is music. The live band of local musicians begin to play the next carol. Every member of the community joins in joyfully.

This is tradition.