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Fresh food for thought served up any ol’ time by whim of Prairie Sunshine...do bookmark us and visit often. And share with your friends. And thanks for stopping by.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Monday, December 24, 2007

Of Penguins and Prayer Flags

Years ago, the Sunshine household made a dramatic change in how we celebrate Christmas. Tradition was cast aside by loss, and we decided to create a new tradition. Some twenty-five years later, that tradition is still going strong.

We each pick a country at Thanksgiving time and then draw to select which one we’ll dish up on Christmas Eve. Year in, year out, through joyous times and turbulent ones, we’ve always gathered together on Christmas Eve to share an adventure.

In the process, we’ve learned more about our neighbors in the world, and are the richer for it in treasure money cannot buy.

Some dishes became family stand-bys…we still serve up Greek lemon chicken to welcome family home, as we did the first year that took us to Greece through food and study. Some things become stand-bys, too. The plastic penguin-embellished igloo that replaced the peace dove that was handmade with trellises and twinkle lights and hung high against the side of the house…until the war outlasted it. But the penguin soldiers on.

These days, our wanderlust is tempered by disability, and we travel more via the Internet than the Interstates. But the tradition continues. Burnished by the spirit of inclusiveness we brought to that first new style family dinner.

This year we’re “traveling” to Bhutan, and prayer flags dance on the wind in front of our house amid the snow-covered trees and lawns. A bit of the Himalayas, of the world beyond our doorstep, but not beyond our hearts.

There’s been a lot of hunkering down these days, but there is, too, the promise of new days with fresh opportunities to live in deed the values we profess in words.

If I could reach out and put in your hands two gifts for these times, they would be the gift of thinking—not just hearing what you want to hear to re-affirm your status quos, of opening your heart to new voices and new births of opportunity. And the gift of peace—and quiet…so that you can ponder in your heart and make wise choices and act upon them to help make a better world. Mustard seeds, grains of sand, stars in the universe—each on its own is miniscule, but together we can move mountains and minds and hearts.

Don’t fear change, embrace it. Like that long ago young couple, set out on a new path. Who knows where it may lead….

Merry Christmas, from Prairie

1 comment:

egregious said...

Merry Christmas to Prairie, family, and friends!