Sunday, 6 January 2013

Take heaven

Some years ago when the girls were very small, I stumbled upon a Christmas book by Tasha Tudor entitled Take Joy. I remember very little about the book except the quote from which the title came, the words attributed to one Giovanni Giocondi, a Franciscan friar. He was a scholar, an archeologist and an architect and lived in Italy during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, so a Renaissance man in all respects.

At Christmas 1513, he is supposed to have written a letter of encouragement to the Contessina Allagia deli Aldobrandeschi, and while there is no proof that he was the actual author, the sentiments work for me, especially now that the Christmas tree is stripped to the lights only and will be going out on to our lawn tomorrow evening to await pick-up:

I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take heaven.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
Take joy.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

And so may it be for all of us. The challenge of Christmas is bringing a bit of it into the rest of the year. I usually fail, but each year, I hope that I can. Let's see what happens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it seems especially difficult this year to hold onto hope when it seems that we are being bombarded by everything from natural disasters to fiscal crises to wars to mass murders to.... well, you know it all just as much as i do, i'm sure. but no matter how hard it is, we must hold onto at least a sliver of hope. i think that is as important as food and water and even air to breathe.

i'll get off my soapbox now ~ your post was very inspiring!

{i found you through NaBloPoMo Soup ~ LOVE your blog name!}