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The winter holidays have descended upon us, and my heart is as light as a snowflake. Despite the many cares weighing down my mind -- preparations, budgeting, and plans for a future change -- I've decided to choose DELIGHT.

The word not only indicates great pleasure and joy(ce), but it also means both to experience this feeling or to cause it -- we can feel delighted, and we can also delight others. That kind of reciprocity delights me!

The word originates from the old French "delitier" for "to charm", and later in middle English, the "gh" was added to indicate its association with liGHt. Marvelous!

When we lived in Southeast Alaska, December held a time of special anticipation for the coming light. We celebrated the solstice on December 21, as the longest night of the year, meaning that the days would get continually longer after that. The return of the light meant a great deal to us, and still does to me.

This weekend, we put up our lovely Christmas tree -- purchased from a nearby you-cut business, but this year NOT cut by us (since no young ones were with us this time and we are NOT lumberjacks, for goodness' sake!). One of my favorite parts of decorating is adding lights to the tree. This year, I added "candle" lights, reminiscent of the German tradition and many Nutcracker productions. I like to end each day by sitting in the dark house by the twinkling tree and contemplating the coming light in our life. It gives me a deep sense of hope and . . . Delight!

Another joyful experience for us this weekend was attending the Seattle Symphony's family concert of "The Snowman" -- a beautiful symphonic poem from the animated movie out of London in 1982 based on Raymond Briggs' picture book of that title. My little boy, my first child, used to love this short film about a child's adventures with a snowman come to life, flying over the English countryside. He even used to sing the boy soprano solo: "we're flying through the air . . ."

The music, the singing, the place brought back so many memories for me -- my first child's wonderment, visits later to the hills of England with a friend, and even my early years singing with my college choir in Benaroya hall -- and all of it filled and lifted my heart. The power of such Delight dispelled any shadows lurking in our minds, and the world sparkled as brightly as our tree.

So, gentle reader, I wish you overflowing joy and possibility this season, whatever and however you celebrate. It's like that classic song made popular by Judy Garland "Have yourself a merry little Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Solstice), let your heart be light!" May you get out into the world, experience the light and the beauty around you, and in turn give extravagant happiness to those you love, or even to those you just meet on the streets.

Together, let us illuminate the world with our mutual Delight!

Yours on the path



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