“This One”, ACEO, 2.5”x3.5” bristol, Inktense watersoluble pencil, permanent ink.
Here we are, re-enacting some fairly ancient stuff. How quaint, man, wife and dog out to cut a Christmas Tree—very Currier and Ives. Victorian, etc.. But while reading my latest tomes on mythology I stumbled up the following description.
In Phrygia, for example, in honor of the crucified and resurrected saviour Attis, a pine tree was cut on the twenty-second of March, and brought into the sanctuary of the mother-goddess, Cybele. There it was swathed like a corpse with woolen bands and decked with wreathes of violets…from Joseph Campbell’s, Hero of a Thousand Faces.
Now, hmmm…doesn’t all that sound familiar, albeit in a less sanitized way? All that imagery, of birth, sacrifice and rebirth. Even the colours red and green have had symbolic importance for an awfully long time, although we may have forgotten. Green being the life blood of plant world and red the life blood of our own.
When I was a child, one of my favourite traditions was the Advent Calendar. Of course it had sparkles and the baby Jesus in the middle, with the heavenly Mary and Joseph hovering about the crib. But this so biblical scene was invariably set in the heart of the winter forest, with blazing stars above and frost laden trees surrounding, with worshipful wild animals, wolves and foxes, deer and rabbits, creeping closer to see the symbol of the return of light and the hope of spring.
I will leave you with that, to contemplate your traditions, their origins and the meaning they hold in your heart.
And of course, once you are done celebrating, I would love to hear about your traditions, what they are, and how they hold you.
A very Merry Christmas! Or whatever festive greeting you wish to insert here.
PS. Some of you may know, that I am very frugal, and normally buy my trees last minute and on sale for less the $20. This year, no such thing happened. Given a choice between a $60 stale pre-cut tree, and fetching my own (more fun) for $45, we spent the money. What a pleasure. It was a fine sunny day at the tree farm (Magic Hill) just down the road from us, and it felt like being in a picture postcard with the dog cavorting beside us. Of course, I left the camera at home…