For years and years now, Bill and I have had a tradition of movable holidays.
Valentine’s Day moves a lot, often due to the scheduling of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show (me) and sometimes due to the whims of male bonding (Bill).
It works for us. If we want to go out, restaurants — and parking lots — are less crowded which, in Atlanta, is a big thing.
One year we celebrated our anniversary, which is in May, sometime in October. Bill will assure you that it had to do with our first Newfoundland puppy and was not, in any way, his fault.
Occasionally, Thanksgiving is on Friday, most notably the year in Tennessee when we were running an urgent domestic violence rescue operation.
This year, we did Christmas dinner on Monday. Bill said he thought it was a good idea because stores would be open in case we discovered something we’d forgotten, which we did. We actually ran out of peppercorns!
(I think he wanted an extra day of turkey leftovers while he’s basically home all week, but we’ll just call that our little secret!)
One of the lovely surprises of this season of moveable holidays appeared on my front porch in the form of a handmade card. I wanted to share it with you and it seems even more appropriate as Kwanzaa also begins today.
First, for those of you scattered around the world who may not know, a brief American history lesson.
According to Wikipedia and The Howard Thurman Papers Project, “Howard Washington Thurman (1899 – 1981) was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. As a prominent religious figure, he played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century.”
For those of us who live in Atlanta, he was also a neighbor who attended Morehouse College and is reported, as a student, to have read every book in the Morehouse library!
A pastor, mystic, and professor at institutions including Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, Thurman, who was strongly influenced by Gandhi, was a leading voice in the non-violent civil rights movement and a mentor to leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I knew these words from Howard Thurman long ago but was delighted to find them anew on a background of hand painted candles, right there on the porch.
I will light candles this Christmas, candles of joy despite all the sadness, candles of hope where despair keeps watch, candles of courage for fear ever present, candles of peace for tempest-tossed days, candles of grace to ease heavy burdens, candles of love to inspire all my living, candles that will burn all year long.
Personally, we don’t light too many real candles in a house with three Newfoundland dogs but I suspect these candles will light my heart in all the days to come.
I’m happy to share!