I woke up to the sound of Ray breathing heavy. Earlier, in the middle of the night, he was fussing around in the bathroom. After realizing he had gotten up a few times, I asked if he was feeling OK. He asked me for a bucket.

Naturally, I felt compelled to spend the rest of the night in the guest room. Since I was up, I figured I’d go check out the meteor shower.

Shooting stars filled the sky! I went back for my camera but the battery was dead. Pissed off, I grabbed my coat and parked myself on a lounge chair in the backyard. At least I could watch the show.

I just can’t stare into space without feeling humbled — especially during a meteor shower. We’re so tiny! The thought of a teeny piece of debris flying through space for years and years suddenly intersecting with planet Earth in the vastness of outer space boggles my mind. It’s like hitting a rock with a grain of sand in mid-air. That lone piece of debris (about the size of a pebble) flying along, minding its own business burns up in the Earths’ atmosphere in a sudden and quite spectacular display of light and motion. Its little space-rock life snuffed out in a fraction of a second.

What a way to go!

As I lay there watching the sky, off in the distance, a pack of coyotes found some sort of tasty morsel. When you live in rural Arizona, you become quite familiar with the sound of the coyotes when they find food. In this case, with me laying there alone under a moonless sky, a shiver went up my spine. I waited for one more streak across the sky before returning to the warm, cozy guest room.

It was about 3:30 in the morning. The whole thing with Ray, meteors and coyotes had me fully awake. When I find myself in this position, where my mind is thinking of everything at once while trying to sleep, I meditate on the words “Thank You”.

Thank you for Ray. Thank you for a safe home. Thank you for my health. Thank you for my kitty cat. Thank you for my family. Thank you for their well-being. Thank you for my friends and their well-being. Thank you for the meteor shower. Thank you for that killer parking space in front of the post office. Thank you for this warm cozy bed. Thank you for the food that I eat. Thank you for my job. Thank you for my life. Thank you for laughter. Thank you for…zzzzzzz, and then I’m asleep.

If I was not agnostic, I would probably direct my Thank Yous to God. My feelings of God are kind of similar to looking up into space. My feeble brain cannot possibly comprehend the world we live in — let alone the power and force that created it. I have a hard time believing the collective brainpower of the citizens of our teeny-tiny planet can really understand what God is. I also think it’s presumptuous to examine the boundless, unlimited expanse that surrounds our planet and think, “Yep, it’s just us.” That being said, the existence of God is not the subject of this blog post.

I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore. I grew up in a mildly Christian household and went to parochial school for a few years. When I was a teenager, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour (all those caps!) and, much to the dismay of my younger brother, tossed all my secular music in the trash — a fact he still likes to bring up on occasion. As I got older and realized that my private little fixation on men was actually developing into full-blown homosexuality, Christianity started to get ugly.

There was a couple at our church. Rick and Leah. They were a very nice couple and, from what I remember, quite involved with the church. One day, Rick mustered up the courage to tell the church that he was homosexual. Here was a man in need of fellowship and counseling from his peers. Someone turning to his church for help and guidance — because that’s what churches do, they help people. That’s not what our church did. They turned their back on Rick and he left in shame. I was only fourteen but I remember thinking their behavior was the most non Christ-like way to handle such a situation and once I realized they’d do the same to me, I stopped saying “Maranatha brother” and left. I refuse to associate with an organization that sees me as an abomination.

I’m not an abomination. I’m a fucking bad-ass karaoke rockstar.

So when December rolls around and the dark days and cooler temps of winter start bringing me down, I like to put up a tree and decorate it with lights and shiny objects to remind myself that, come December 21st, the days will start to get longer, lighter and warmer. I have a strong feeling that the origins of bringing a tree into your home right around the Winter solstice was more Pagan than Christian. (Actually, it’s more than a strong feeling but I’m not a historian and in doing some research, it seems everyone has their own theory.)

So, go ahead and put the Christ back in Christmas. I’m not against Christmas, I just want the tree back…

6 Thoughts on “O Solstice Tree, O Solstice Tree

  1. Endometria on 14/12/2010 at 4:00 PM said:

    LOL I am a bit amazed sometimes at the parallels in our histories! And I am super glad to see your Solstice Tree… look for a little sumpfin’ to put on it in a day or two!

  2. The trees, the holly and the ivy, decorating the house with wreaths and greens are all Northern European, mainly Celtic “pagan” (a word I tend not to use if I can help it because the nuns in the Catholic school my parents sent me to used is sneeringly as a slur.

    I left the Catholic Church for the same reason you left yours. What good is a church if it doesn’t promote community, bring people together and serve all who believe no matter who or what they are?

    I hope Ray wasn’t too sick and wish you both a happy Solstice celebration and lots of wonderful times with friends and family.

  3. “Its little space-rock life snuffed out in a fraction of a second.

    What a way to go!”

    These words and your “meaning of life” moment reminded me of this little gem:

    I hope Ray is feeling much better by now. And here’s another one to add to your list of “Thank Yous.” Thank you for blogging again. 🙂

  4. alice on 15/12/2010 at 12:53 PM said:

    I want the tree back too. Happy Winter Solstice to you and Ray. Cheers!

  5. I put up a Holiday Tree to celebrate Holiday.

  6. What a lovely post. Like you, I accepted JC as my PL&S when I was in high school. And although my route out of all of that was a bit different from yours, I ended up in a similar place.

    >I’m not an abomination. I’m a fucking bad-ass karaoke rockstar.

    That you are, and I am happy to count you among my friends. Happy solstice!

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