ATB Bistro 333

A place where visions and dreams meet, as inspired by the creative spirit within.
A place where the quest for beautiful possibilities in life may be explored, pondered and shared.
Welcome to the All Things Beautiful round table at Bistro 333.
Draw up a chair, relax awhile.
Enjoy the friendship and a cup of hospitality.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Love Came Down at Christmas


Love Came Down at Christmas

By Susan Parcheta (Dec. 25, 2009)
“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you hear what I hear? A song, a song, high above the trees. Love is in the came  down at Christmas when the Wise Men saw the star
“Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine,
 Love was born at Christmas, Star and angel gave the sign.”
 – Christina Rosetti
Do you see what I see? A star, a star dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite. Love is in the air. In  this season of light and grace, I embrace the beauty... and I ponder the possibilities, as I keep on...  keeping on following the star. Amazingly, today, as I was ready to post this, a Hallmark card came from a cousin in California, with the same message, only it was phrased like this: “May Christmas give us faith to follow our bright and shining star.” The cover art, painted by Matt Kesler,  depicts in  dusky blues and indigos,  the holy night scene; and I envision the words from songwriter Harry Noble...the dark forms of the Three Wise Men, their camels gently swaying underneath them on the road to Bethlehem.
Into the west, they went riding, riding, following after the star...”
-- Harry Noble, songwriter 1940
It's hard to imagine that I wrote this little column a decade ago. Star Search...following that elusive star...It's been a lifelong theme of mine, probably yours too. Yes, I'm still searching...on a never-ending quest to discover the gifts of Christmas. I still seek out signs and symbols...and beautiful wise ones appear on my journey. Amazingly, thankfully, I recognize them now. And life takes on new wonder with each New Year.
A gift last Christmas came from a young wise woman in Germany. We met through an Internet forum. Yes, these days, wise ones may show up anywhere...even virtual friends on the web. She sent me a sweet Alaskan angel pin from her travels there.  The angel's dressed in winter garb. She holds a rainbow above her fur-capped head. The description reads: “When nights are dark, and home is far, I will guide you with my star. Your path will be bright and filled with light of your little Alaskan Angel.”
Each year I hope to keep that light of Christmas glowing in my heart ...ever expanding it outward into my world.
May we seek what the star of Christmas inspires.” -- Helen Steiner Rice


Star Search

By Susan Parcheta
When I was growing up I didn’t think much about the Christmas season extending past Dec. 25. I didn’t think much about signs or symbols. And I didn’t know at all what Epiphany meant.  However, the tales of the  Three Wise Men, the Magi, fascinated me. The wise ones followed the star…the sign of the coming (appearance) of the Messiah.  “We Three Kings,” written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr., a   favorite carol since childhood., would, in later years,  become more meaninful to me each Christmas.
 Now I enjoy the quiet times of the twelve days of Christmas leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 6 – also called Little Christmas – when the three kings found what they were seeking on  “Bethlehem’s Plain.”  I like to keep the Christmas tree up until then. And I appreciate homes with Christmas lights still shining like beacons, through the dark nights after the holidays.
 As the outer wrappings of Christmas are put away for another year, the real meaning of Christmas takes hold. And I sense a turning inward. I like to take time to pause and reflect about appearances of signs and symbols, guideposts along the way.
Winter seems the time, as in nature, to slow down our hectic pace…yet tune in to the guidance we are seeking. It seems a reflective time to “hibernate” a little, to pause in wonder, to restore our souls. If we allow ourselves this contemplative season, who knows what we will discover? The New Year is traditionally a time of envisioning life’s possibilities…taking inventory, sorting, redefining and setting new goals.
We each have our own moments of epiphany. New insights, new friends, our own “wise ones” appear on our journey. Do we recognize these visitors?
The Magi followed the guiding light of the star, bringing gifts. We too, can make each day of the year an epiphany. We can keep the light of Christmas glowing throughout the year before us by sharing our unique gifts for mankind. (This column was first printed in the Jan. 4, 199  issue of the Fowlerville News & Views, Fowlerville, Michigan.)
We're a decade into the new millenium, now, and love is in the air. I wrote Star Search in 1999.
It's amazing how quickly the 21st Century is rolling right along. As we  move into 2010, do you get a sense that things in your life are shifting...and at warp speed? .
It's 2009 and Love is in the Air
My calendar page for February this year was ablaze with beautiful fuchsia Bleeding Hearts...a strand of heart-shaped flowers with creamy white pendulum petals... a necklace of dainty bells strung  against a backdrop of vibrant green.  The word for the month – the love month – was Courage.
The Bleeding Heart: It's been a favorite flower since my childhood days,  wandering, enchanted,  in my grandmother's garden. The regal blooms symbolize a dualism that grabbed my own heart at a tender age. Always, when they appear  in springtime, my heart skips  like Paul Young's song.   Love is in the Air becomes a sweet mantra.  “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around. Love is in the air, every sign and every sound.”
But Bleeding Hearts are delicate and easily crushed.  “If I only had a heart,” says the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Having a heart means you're susceptible to the vagaries of love as well. Love in all its forms. It takes courage to love from a bleeding heart. But love we must, and unconditionally, say the pastors and spiritual teachers of our point in time.
 I reflected deeply on the subject of love while summarizing a book by Owen Waters for Dr. Henry Reed's Intuitive Connections Network. The book describes a paradigm shift going on in our culture.
Waters wrote the book  just three years ago, before the Barack Obama phenomenon. Yet, as I was summarizing, while this episode of presidential election history was taking place, it all seemed to fit.
The Shift: The Revolution in Human Consciousness is actually happening, I kept telling myself.  I can see things transforming before my eyes, in my own life.
When I was looking up the lyrics for Love is in the Air,  I saw a blog by that same title, only the focus was on the Valentine's Day aspect of love. Waters speaks to universal love...with a New Reality based on a new consciousness of caring and compassion...and a world in which serving others is our highest priority. It's an age-old story, but apparently, we're finally “getting it.”
 A cultural shift  is in the air. So, are we  becoming a kinder, gentler world? More forgiving, more loving? More creative? More heart-centered? And, at last, heart-activated?  Owen Waters and other leading edge teachers think so.  Such a positive spin on our cultural trends seems like a lifeline in these chaotic times. Something we can grab onto and do our part to help pull others aboard the ship.
We're entering a time of following our heart intuitively... toward a life of creativity, gratitude and joy.
“It's a great time to be alive,” says Waters.  At the close, he writes, “Tell your friends that the world is shifting to a new reality and is destined to become a truly beautiful place.”
Aha...I thought. Truly, All Things are Beautiful  and  All Things Are  Possible. It's up to us, though,  to step into the experience and creatively contribute to this new world. Being aware of the nature of the shift, we can pick up our creative-thinking toolbox, and, like the Seven Dwarfs...go off to work daily with a Hi Ho song  in our heart and a joyful spring in our step. Because we are a part of this transformation. 
Always we deal with dualism, and  in this age of technology, we go networking into the unknown...Twittering and Facebooking our way into the woods. It is the unknown, and concerns have even popped up about the effect on our health of too much virtual communication and not enough person-to-person contact. Of course, you can overdose on the virtual stuff. A young Facebook friend of mine went so far as to give it up for Lent. I'd decided to check up on her one day, only to see her smiling face on her profile page telling her friends “see you at Easter.”
I see blogs popping up on the topic now. I'll agree that we can spend too much time away from personal contact, but also the social networking playing grounds offer us ways to arrange personal contact that we might not have otherwise, and to spread the love that is the wave of this cultural Tsunami. On the upside of social networking are the beautiful surprises that can magically appear in your life, such as taking a chance on a new friendship from someone half a world away. That happened to me this year, when a Facebook acquaintance  requested my friendship.
She lives in Vancouver and teaches in a community college. She's Canadian but her homeland is China. We share a beautiful thing in common, though....our love of beauty and the pursuit of it. She shared a quote about beauty, which I loved so much, I asked if I might share it. She said, of course I could. The next thing I knew, she was phoning me to  wish me Merry Christmas and to hear my voice. I was astounded. But should I be? Technology has made it  a small world after all. "For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it." --Ivan Panin
A hug or a tweet? The new reality is all about networks and connections. Sometimes your intuitive heart tells you to take a chance on a friendship, even on Facebook.  So do your best to balance that out. Just keep the love in the air. Go out and express your creativity. There and everywhere. Sing out. The world needs you to do that.
Love came down at Christmas.
Come darkness, come light, Come new star shining bright,
Come love to the world tonight. – Mary Chapin Carpenter
(from her 2008 Christmas album: 'Twelved Songs of Christmas')
Do you hear what I hear? We are called to rise and sing...the melodies of the universe.  The American psychic Edgar Cayce said: Only music may span  that space between the finite and the may be the means of arousing and awakening the best of hope, the best of desire, the best in the heart and soul of those who will and do listen.
Love came down at Christmas. There's a joyful song  in the air. Do you hear it?  Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket! Never let it fade away! Do you see what I see?  Do you see that it's you?
“Light comes through a gap in the curtains: the promise of morning. Light comes through the flaws of our lives: the promise of love.” – Modern Prayer from Berlin, Germany
Spead the light, the love, the music. Open the curtains, find the star within, celebrate it, share it. It's your story. Now is the time to go tell it on the's a beautiful movie, and you are the star of the show.
* * *
To read my book summary of Owen Waters's The Shift: The Revolution in Human Consciousness,   go to Henry Reed's
(Since my summary of  The Shift, you'll find now Penney Peirce's Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration, and Dr. Stuart Brown, M.D.s Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, Invigorates the Soul.)

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