Perfect Moment Monday: Light of Mine

December 29, 2013

in Family, Mindfulness, Perfect Moment

I once said,

light of the worldWith awareness, one could have a perfect moment shackled in a dungeon sitting in one’s own excrement; without it, blessings galore cannot compensate.

I still believe that. Despite winning the parental jackpot, despite being blessed with amazing sisters who make me laugh and give good counsel, despite being healthy and sheltered and sharing a home with a loving husband and 2.2 kids (I can say that now that Dexter is here), despite having a passel of fabulous friends and despite having a relatively cushy life compared to 99% of the humans who have ever existed, recently I have had trouble finding perfect moments. Last month I couldn’t even deliver one, and I’m the goldarned host of this bloghop.

I had more than a little anxiety that my dry spell would not end in time for December’s Perfect Moment Monday. But late in the month I relaxed and began again to notice what I have instead of angsting over my troubles.

I am not a big fan of Christmas, at least not like I was as a child. I no longer share the religious sentiment, and I have come to detest the consumerism the holiday represents. The buildup that now begins at Halloween has made my children practically vibrate with expectations that can’t possibly be met. Their anxiety makes me feel unsettled and cranky.

I had vowed, after our extended family dinner, that our part of the family would not to join the others in attending the 10 pm Christmas Eve service at the church I grew up in. But after my children pleaded plaintively for two more hours with their cousins, I reconsidered.

We took up two pews, my parents and sisters and our children, plus my beloved aunt and uncle. Some details of the church experience remained the same as they were during my childhood: the poinsettias at the altar, the order of the service, the antsy-ness of the children — but this time I was the adult, the shusher rather than the shushee.

Some details were different: the pastor and the cantor are now younger than I am, I didn’t recognize any other congregants beyond our two pews, and the communion bread now looks a lot like pita pockets.

The songs were the familiar Christmas hymns I know by heart, even into the second and third verses. During O Come All Ye Faithful, I looked to my left over the heads of my family members and saw the message:

love home peace joy

Peace | Joy | Love | Hope

I felt a perfect moment creeping up on me. The wave began to overtake me, an upwelling of emotion building in my chest and threatening to let flow tears of bliss. I remained in that state until the capper.

Always, the Christmas service’s final hymn, the one we sing as we darken the church and relight it candle by candle, is Silent Night. Mine is a family of singers. Remember this story about my dad? And this video featuring my sisters? My aunt, once a musical theater star, disc jockey and music teacher, has a crystal clear and pitch-perfect voice.

Behind me, around me, within me, our voices — 15 of them — intertwined with each other in exquisite resonance as the shadows gave way to light. I was enveloped by vibrations of love and joy emanating from my family members, three generations of us. Our voices rose in delight for the season, the joy of being together and the awareness that we were making this once-in-a-lifetime memory.

I noticed it!

(And no excrement was necessary.)

~~~~~

A happy moment will seed ten thousand more.Notes from the Universe.

Which explains why it’s in my interest (and yours) to notice perfect moments.

~~~~~

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow LavenderLuz.com.
  • Write up your own Perfect Moment and post it on your blog (or other site).
  • Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or blog name), the URL of your Perfect Moment post, and a thumbnail image if desired.
  • Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

With your Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog (in the post, on the sidebar, or both).What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

a December 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I was THIS >< close to rounding up my family for a Christmas Eve mass – we're not big church goers, and if I hadn't been on my way home from work when all the masses were starting on Christmas Eve, we would have gone. I found myself missing all the carols that were always such a part of Christmas.

I guess that's probably the easiest manifestation of missing my mom on our first Christmas without her.

Happy Holidays to you and your family…

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Hazel Lee December 29, 2013 at 9:25 pm

We don’t celebrate Christmas in Malaysia the way we do in Canada. There’s no spirit of Christmas for us here, but my father’s birthday is on Christmas, and we bought presents for my brother’s 4yo twin daughters too. So while it wasn’t a Christmas-sy Christmas, it was a nice family quality time for us. =)

I’m glad you had your perfect moment this month. =)

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Northern Star December 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm

This is beautiful Lori! I’m glad to read that perfection found its way to you this month… These moments come when we least expect them!

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andy December 30, 2013 at 5:44 am

That is a beautiful perfect moment!

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Sharon Greenthal December 30, 2013 at 7:25 am

Thank you for this, Lori – I needed this today.

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Doreen McGettigan December 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

That made me teary! It’s family memories like this that get me through the holidays these days because like you the craziness it all has become just depresses me.
Happy New Year!

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Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com December 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

Hi Lori….I just wandered over from your link on the Midlife Boulevard FB page and read this post. I too agree that the madness around the Christmas holidays make me a little crazy and can only imagine how difficult it is with little ones around. But even though I don’t consider myself Christian or religious, I do accept that I am a deeply spiritual person. And I also realize that the rituals of most of the religions around the world like the one you so beautifully describe is something that we can all share and appreciate–no matter what the religious background–precisely because it creates a moment of connection and awareness outside the ordinary. Thank you for sharing this and helping me remember. ~Kathy

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RobinJP December 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I love how for you the Perfect Moment comes as a wave overtaking you. Mine often are just moments at the time, but the thing I keep thinking about. It takes a while for me to figure out that that moment that I keep returning to in my head was so perfect I just can’t let go.

I’m glad you recognized one.

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Carol Cassara December 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Lovely posts!

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Lesli December 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Loved this Lori….thank you. I had some unexpected perfect moments this season as well….just letting things unfold and feeling grateful. Cheers to a beautiful New Year….full of peace, joy and an abundance of love!

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Helene Cohen Bludman December 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I love this perfect moment of yours, Lori. I can imagine your emotion sitting in church wth the beautiful Christmas melodies being sung so sweetly.

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Kim December 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I love everything about this post!
The shusher versus the shushee…
The disgust with the commercialism this once-holy holiday now brings…
All of it –
And I love your perfect moment.

Happy New Year to you and your family :)

p.s. – I believe I’ve hit the parental jackpot as well. As both a birthmom and a parenting mom :)

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Justine December 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Oh, Lori. This is lovely. And so much like what I’ve found sometimes when I go alone to midnight mass at the church up the street. As much as I don’t “do” Christmas like my family does, there is something about the music (and I can only imagine how it would be to hear your family singing together) that moves me. I always find myself thinking: love that inspires this kind of music must be a positive force for the universe. And so it is: perfect. Sending you wishes for a New Year filled with waves that overtake you in exactly this way.

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Kristen December 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

It’s a little thing but after waiting for so long to be a mom I noticed my two year old son automatically made a mom waist shape with his legs when I picked him up and then wrapped his arms around me too and kissed me. For that moment all of the hard, the bad and the ugly melted away and there was just my sweet boy as close as he could be and me.

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Kristi Campbell December 31, 2013 at 6:19 pm

You weren’t supposed to make me cry!!! I don’t go to church. But I’ve accidentally gone twice in the past 5 years, and cried both times. I’m trying to think about a perfect moment to link u. Can it be one that I just WANTED to be more perfect??? Happy NY, my friend.

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Sheri January 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I read your post several days ago from my phone and wanted to comment on the computer and am just now getting around to it. Busy week!

I LOVED going to church together on Christmas Eve. It was a whole service of Perfect Moments from the second we walked in, to the hand bell choir’s songs, the singing of the Christmas carols, and especially all of the love I felt as I was surrounded by my people, my family, my tribe…the most important people in the entire world — all gathered around me, with lit candles in our hands, love and gratitude in our hearts…together singing Silent Night.

Perfect indeed…and it would not have been the same without you. I’m SO glad you decided to come with us.

NOTE: Even funnier was the ride home when we were all singing as loud as we could, the various parts of familiar Christmas carols at the tops of our lungs (sound familiar?). So funny!

Happy New Year! May 2014 be filled with love and light (and lots of yoga too). :)

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