Dear Mr. God
It is that time of the year again ( isn’t it always?).With Christmas on us, the insane rush to shut New Zealand for a few days will see people buying as if the shops will be shut forever, and tradesmen working 28-hour days to complete work for clients ( you want it when?).
Things I do badly (the list is extensive) include remembering birthdays and writing Xmas cards. My apologies in advance.
I have however written this small piece, my way of thanking you all for your warmth, friendship and support over the year.
It is deeply appreciated.
May Christmas bring you all joy, peace and tranquillity.
Arohanui e hoa
Dear Mr God:
It has been a huge year, a busy year, a wild rollercoaster of a year I have clung to as best I could, but I just wanted to pause, to take a little time to write to you (I know, I don’t do it enough).As Christmas approaches and society prepares to shut its doors for a few days, there are a few things I need to say, to thank you for.
I realise now that Christmas is not one day in the year, it is every day and everyday, that for the last year you have given me gifts, have put presents under the tree of my life. Sometimes those gifts haven’t been ones I would have asked for, but you gave me them nevertheless. I unwrapped them and was ungrateful at first. It took me time to realise that they were valuable and to be valued. They were lessons I needed to learn.
I realise now that the greatest gifts do not have carefully-removed price tags, that they are always there, waiting to be opened if I have the wit to see them: the whisper of birds’ wings as they pass in the night, watching as the sun paints a dawn across the ocean, seeing curtains of silver rain drifting past my window and suddenly becoming aware of spring exploding on the bare branches of the silk tree in my garden. These are among the greatest gifts you could have given me. Being able to take the time to wonder at the beauty of the natural world, and learning to take that time, are surely two of the greatest gifts you could have given me.
I realise now that my friends and family, the people I love, are gifts to celebrate. Some have moved on, some have died, but I rejoice in the time I had with them. The photographs of their life are Christmas cards I can open again and again. New friends have come into my life and I looking forward to having time with them, with getting to know them. And sharing the lives of my family (You know it is a big family, for it includes my friends) is a gift I get to unwrap every day.
Of course the greatest gift you could have given me is my life. It took a while to work this out. It takes time to grow into a life, to break it in before it feels comfortable. But I am mostly there now. I have learned that the quality of a life lies in chewing it slowly, celebrating every moment of every day. I have learned that if I worry too much about tomorrow, I will miss all the wonders in the day before me. I am still opening my presents.
You know, the funny thing is watching the desperate rush to Christmas. It is as if everything will end on December 25. Actually everything is about to begin. Ends are beginnings; the subtext of Christmas.
So, as your spirit blows through the sails of my life, as the moonlight sends silver ripples across the sea on which I travel, may I remember the greatest gift of all; that it is the journey which matters, not the destination.
With affection and grudging respect
Your prodigal son.