I hear there was a secret chord


“that David played and it pleased the Lord”

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah beautifully sung by an eight year old girl

even though it all went wrongaa
(the windows are from Saint Chapelle in Paris)

Greetings !

The end of the year is fast approaching. All life is clouded by desire and thus the soul is blinded. That is so true and it has been a very challenging year for me, but I know there is the bigger picture, and that we are all part of the light and the eternal “Om” and “I am.”

The Winter Solstice  is approaching. Celts and other peoples from ancient times onward, celebrated that time of profound slumber, the longest night, the death before rebirth and, as a good blogging friend, Andrea, on her fine blog Harvesting Hecatehas pointed out, the time of dreaming.

As we get older that time seems to move more quickly. I often think of life as motion forward into the future, the universe and our lives playing out in a time capsule.  When we look out into the far regions of space we see the past. The paradox is, that in the larger scheme of the cosmos we are actually moving backward, away from the beginning of time (in astronomy -the event horizon) which implies to both astronomers and priests that there was a beginning and it was a powerful blast of illumination from a cosmic and divine trumpet!

So as the galaxies, like fading notes of light are waved away from that receding moment by the hand of the invisible conductor, our own tiny  human perspective perceives ourselves as being beckoned forward into the future. We are leaving the past and  approaching  a new day,  a departure and an arrival, a new season, a new year, a new turning. Yet we do not always go freely. Memories and experiences can weigh us down into silence. We have to turn them into songs and sing our stories, whether “broken or holy” as we journey.

hummingbird3
Faith feels the light while morning is still dark

A time of celebration and gratitude

The Jewish feast of lights, Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees and the miracle of the ritual lighting of the Menorah that lasted for eight days when there had only been enough oil for one day.

The midwinter Yuletide later called Christmastide stemmed from a much earlier Germanic  or Norse pagan celebration of the wild hunt, and the god Odin.

jolly old st nick2a
Now you dear old man…..

Then there is Father Christmas,  and St. Nick or Santa Claus symbolizing  good will and generosity toward others. Father Christmas was a personification that arose from old English folkloric tradition. I always think of him as the spirit of a festive Christmas  Present as portrayed in Dickens’s “Scrooge.”  St. Nicholas actually lived in Asia Minor in the third century CE and was known for his gift giving and miracles. He is not only the patron saint of children but also of sailors and repentant thieves.

allelujah

There’s a blaze of light in every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

the broken or the holy Hallelujah 

and even though it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the lord of song

with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen

Beautiful violin rendition of Hallelujah by Cohen

Many pagan traditions were incorporated into Christianity, culminating in the feast of the birth of the Christ Child and a time of light,  rejoicing and hope.

Now, the early church fathers were no slouches. Back in ancient Rome, the end of the year was marked by the  feasting, music and gift giving of Saturnalia in honour of the god Saturn. This was a time when slaves became equals with their owners and masters would even wait on their slaves. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days!” Even though we know Christ was not born on Dec 25th the bishops of Rome knew that the people liked their celebration so there is strong  evidence to suggest it was transformed into the new Christian celebration.

And let us not forget the meaning of  the word “Christmas” and the profound impact of a poor baby from Bethlehem who became the Prince of peace, a young holy man who challenged the hypocrisies of the day, the one who said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and told us to”love one another,” even our enemies.

angel spotting2

(7 year old gospel singer sings O holy night- so sweetly beautiful!!) Rhema Marvanne

o-RHEME-facebook

That message of peace rings out poignantly and sadly in today’s world. How little we learned. Thank you Lord of song.

I wish all my blogging friends the peace and joy of the season, with reflection and renewal. I hope all your celebrations will be happy ones and that the new year will bring about positive changes in our lives both personally and globally.

My Christmas Stories:

and if you like stories, check out my Alice’s Twinkling Winter Tales – also on sidebar

Alice's winter tale2
A winter’s tale

84 Comments Add yours

  1. gizzylaw says:

    Thank you for following my blog. I came looking for the dune mouse and found this magnificent site. I am honored that you would consider reading my scribbling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am honoured! Your site is wonderful and so thought provoking!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. gizzylaw says:

        WOW! And all this time I just thought my brain was screwed in backwards!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! You have no idea what your words mean to me. (Well, the capital letters sorta give that way, I suppose.)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Sheldon for reaching out! I am quite silent these days though I post a few pics on Flickr- Many struggles, many fears, another near tragedy and blessed quiet. I will pop over to see you soon and hope you are well. I will return- just a bit more time and meds lol.

      Like

      1. sheldonk2014 says:

        Please take good care of yourself
        I need you on the front line with me
        A Soldier of 0ne in an Army of the Few

        Like

  2. sheldonk2014 says:

    There’s always something pulling at you there’s no way to,stop it. Life has too many arm and we,have just as many challenges. You peek your head out to,say,hello at least I won’t bit your head off Sheldon

    Like

      1. sheldonk2014 says:

        So good to see you
        I do hope all is well

        Like

  3. sheldonk2014 says:

    Prayer and light
    A soldier of one An Army of the few
    Hang in there
    As Sheldon Always

    Like

  4. sheldonk2014 says:

    You are in my daily of prayers
    Cycele,,,,.

    Like

  5. Ah you killed me so bittersweetly with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Dear Cybele! Sending love and warm hugs of friendship and best wishes for a very happy New Year! xoxoxo -Kathleen

    Like

  6. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

    Like

  7. Wishing you the best of 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. DG MARYOGA says:

    A brilliant post filled with imagistic resonances of Cosmic Divinity and Stillness,dear Cybele.Sublime photography,splendid music choices,I was deeply touched by Cohen’s song,I had and still have a weakness for him;last November,he “danced to the end of his life” in Hydra where he had bought a house. … “.Happy Holiday Season,dear friend & best wishes for a Prosperous New Year filled with Peace,Love & Health 🙂 ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I’m late but thank you always Doda for your beautiful words and all the best to you for the New Year!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DG MARYOGA says:

        Late?Not at all,I came back to WP after two months and I don’t know where I stand.Anyhow,so many thanks for your wishes.May all your 2018 Days be Happy 🙂

        Like

      2. I send you much love through my silence these days. I am slowly improving. Thank you so much dear friend for always sending a few uplifting words

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful! Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thanks so much for your support and well wishes Landa!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful dear Cybele .. and to enjoy it listening to Mr Cohen was a treat. Peace and joy of the season to you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All the best for the New Year Julie and thanks for popping up North!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Christy B says:

    This is a beautiful holiday post, Cybele! May peace fall upon so many with a gentle touch… And you’re right that time seems to move so quickly right now.. May you have moments of love and a wonderful new year awaiting you ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Christy!! I’ve been away but I appreciate your lovely comment! Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Suzanne says:

    This is a beautiful post. Your photographic art work is exceptional and your account of the significance of this time of the year is really insightful. I will send a link to your blog to my daughter who is looking for a different interpretation of Christmas so she can explain it to her five year old son.
    I hope 2018 is a better year for you. I am still dealing with some health issues but am getting a clear focus as to how to go about that now. I will re-join the blogosphere sometime in the new year. Merry Christmas dear Cybele. – love Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry it’s taken this long to respond Suzanne. I hope you are well and blessings for the New Year.Please send me notice when you start up blogging again!!

      Like

      1. Suzanne says:

        Hi Cybele, it’s been an intense start to the New Year hasn’t it. I have started up a new blog though it’s still in its early days. https://bloggingcalmandchaos.wordpress.com/

        Like

  13. Moz Loordes says:

    I like the idea of the secret chord – making even more mystery at King David’s court! Beautiful seasonal artwork, my friend, most enjoyable 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks Moz!! and many good cheers!!

      Like

  14. sedge808 says:

    excellent post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to see you Gavin!! All the best of the season!

      Like

  15. One of my absolute favourite songs and that violin version is haunting. As is your post Cybele – a resonant journey through the magic of Christmas (and thank you for the mention)! I hope you have a peaceful and joyful season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you called Christmas magical. I always found it so! Thank you and a happy Solstice too!! I loved the Geminid shower the other night. Did you see it! Wonders of the cosmos!

      Like

      1. I didn’t I’m afraid, probably too much light in this area, but I’m glad you experienced the magic 🙂

        Like

      2. 🙂 Happy New Year Andrea!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Darlene says:

    A wonderful seasonal post. So nicely framed with that amazing song by our dear Mr. Cohen. Wishing you a satisfying 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and to you Darlene! I’m so behind these days!! Thanks so much for your visit and lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. orijinalchris says:

    That is a very lovely version of ‘Hallelujah’… reminds me of Secret Garden, who are masters of this kind of emotive gorgeousness (: I wish you continued enjoyment of this spectacular, expanding reality we all inhabit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. what a wonderful wish!! Thanks Chris and same to you!!!!

      Like

  18. A beautiful posting, Cybele! Glad to see (and hear) that there is still hope in this world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks my friend!! Yes we must believe!! All the best of the season!

      Like

  19. Aquileana says:

    Beautiful post dear Cybele…. I like the song by Leonard Cohen (great choice).
    You say: “I often think of life as motion forward. The paradox is, that in the larger scheme of the cosmos we are actually moving backward away from the beginning of time”: that truly resonated with me. There is a blogger who has been posting a series of posts on aging backwards. So I thought of her. I´ll tell her about this!:
    Much love and all my best wishes! 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much sweet Aquileana!! Yes, have her visit!! Blessings of the season!!

      Like

  20. Your images and words are heartfelt. Each brings deep thought and hope for you and everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. your lovely comment means a lot to me!! Thank you and blessings of the season!

      Like

  21. Anita says:

    That was a beautiful walk through traditions! Happy holidays, Cybele, and I hope you have a happy, healthy and wonderful year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you liked it Anita!! All the best of the season and new year to you too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Sue says:

    And Season’s Greetings to you, Hannah….and all the very best for the New Year xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and to you Sue!!! Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Sherry Felix says:

    May the birth of the new year bring us joy and peace. Happy solstice. The tune Halleluiah always gives me goosebumps. Lovely post Cybele.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Sherry!! And all the blessings of the season to you!!

      Like

  24. Amy says:

    Beautifully done! Thank you for the good wishes.
    Happy Holidays and 2018, Cybele! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks and blessings dear Amy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Adrian Lewis says:

    Very good to hear you mention the Pagan origin of this season, my friend. A 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh yes, I have that in me as well. I’m very drawn to the power and mysticism of nature and seasons. Happy Solstice!

      Like

      1. Adrian Lewis says:

        And to you too, my friend! Good to know we are on similar paths. A 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Welcome back, dear friend. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a tough year. I do hope those times are behind and you are strengthened. You have returned with such a beautiful post. I have missed your amazing art photos. Thanks for that wonderful music. I adore the violin and the piano! I pray you and yours will have a blessed holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. blessings to you and yours Linda!! I may be a bit quiet again till the new year. So much is going on. I will prevail lol. Prayer helps. – and music- like the Mormon choir!!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh what a beautiful post Cybele in every way. I was spellbound. And of course, this is afav song of mine xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you stopped by!! Thank you so much my sweet friend! I’m dreaming of Scotland!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s pretty bloody cold… Gotta say. Baltic in fact. Will send you snowflakes and broken boilers xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Have a great holiday season! Best to you in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. paula graham says:

    Stunning post, lot of work and thought gone into that…the outcome: terrific.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always hope it’s not too long and I often get carried away lol! Thank you so much for reading. It means a lot coming from you!

      Like

  30. disperser says:

    Thank you for the well-wishes and wish you happiness for the holidays that will extend into the coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and to you !! Sorry I’m once again behind!! Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. disperser says:

      Don’t worry about it . . . and that should have read ” . . . for the holidays, wish you happiness that extends into the coming year”.

      The way it was written, it reads as if the holidays are extending . . . sometimes I forget I’m supposed to be a writer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lol me too! I often write in a hurry then find all the mistakes after pushing the post button!! I stand corrected!!

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Mags says:

    You have a lovely way with words. Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so appreciate your encouragement! Blessings of the season!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Beautiful Cybele, even where hands can’t reach the spirit can. Peace and love to you and your family for Christmas and the new year.
    Athbhliain faoi shéan is faoi mhaise duit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and to you George too! Nollaig Beannaithe! Thank you for your beautiful comment!

      Like

  33. sheldonk2014 says:

    I know for me I constantly want answer and a lot of times there aren’t its just life doing its thing and that drives me up the wall,I’m not as patient as I once was,I too have been having going through a rough patch I am so glad to see you cybele it makes my heart sing its 2a.m. here I can’t sleep migraines is now my new normal
    And lots of bodily pain,so good to see you
    Stay close As Sheldon Always

    Like

  34. Peter Nena says:

    Thank you for this, Cybele. Merry Christmas to you, and I hope your year ends well. I love that song by Leonard Cohen. Thanks.

    Like

    1. In with the new!! Thanks so much my dear friend!! and to you also!!

      Like

  35. Renee Espriu says:

    I have heard and read what you have here many different ways before but you write in such a way as to invite the reader in, to pull them into the story. Beautifully done! I wish you all the best for the holiday and in the year to come. Be well!

    Like

    1. thank you for such a lovely comment Renee!! Much love to you my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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