Because rituals remind, the experience of time during the holidays can be bittersweet for us. Maybe, because of what is lost, we have to "fight through," pretending to enjoy for the sake of those we love.As O'Donohue writes, the work of day-to-day living is precarious: there can be danger or darkness anywhere. Habitual time can turn in a second, and suddenly some unforeseen suffering is taking up tenancy in one's life...
Blessing, he says, calls the potentiality of the future into the present moment and into the loss of the past:
To live like this is to experience time as a constant invitation to growth--to become more than you have been, to transform loss into presence, and to allow what is false to fall away. At the gates of time, blessing waits to usher toward us the grace we need....A blessing awakens future wholeness...a blessing 'forebrightens' the way. When a blessing is invoked, a window opens in eternal time.
One of my favorite poems by Wendy Cope evokes this achingly beautiful image of forebrightening, one I hope is present for all of us this year.