All posts by rgsmith

Christmas Spirit

Some thoughts on the Christmas Spirit. One of my favorite trees is the redwood. Magnificent standing monuments to the efficacy of family, of community. These trees are often a thousand years old and grow to 300 feet tall. Yet the root system of a single tree rarely extends below eight feet. Hardly enough strength to keep them from falling. Community keeps them upright. Their roots intertwine with other redwoods in a community called a grove. The roots of the grove interconnect to other groves and…

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Arab Shoes

I was originally going to stay with posts of stories and myths about the Christmas season for the next several days, but the shoe throwing incident engenders these thoughts. You know the childhood rhyme, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me”. I would offer a modern day alternative: “sticks and shoes can break the rules, but names can never hurt me”. I think President George W. Bush missed a valuable opportunity in Baghdad when a disgruntled Iraqi television journalist…

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A Wonderful Life

Christmas energy is a warm uplifting inner glow that affirms the value of good will and how sacred life is. It’s no wonder that this time of year, the Jimmy Stewart film It’s a Wonderful Life, continues to capture our hearts with the simple truth that every life counts. In the tale, Clarence, an angel trying to earn his wings, shows George Bailey that it is the living of life that is wonderful, not that every moment is pure and without pain or that every…

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Christmas Customs

Some thoughts today and for the next several days on the customs and stories of Christmas. In England, it is still common to hear someone say that the cock crows for Christmas. Legend has it that the roosters crowing would frighten away the bad spirits from the holy season. Other superstitions are wonderful in their imagery. One is that bees can sing at Christmas and sheep walk in procession to commemorate the visit of the angel to the shepherds. In Canada, there is the story…

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