"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
This weekend I was reminded that this season is about giving from the heart, and receiving more than we dreamed. The small things, the choices we make everyday, have the power to change the world.
On Saturday my guy and I were participants in the Bellingham Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk for the Arthritis Foundation. We ran, we laughed, we sweated, we even had a friend join us! And of course there were jingle bells involved, many jingle bells. Some of the runners dressed like elves, donned Santa hats, and a few crazy/foolhardy/brave souls stripped down to speedos (I’ll spare your poor eyes THAT image)! We like to run 5Ks quite a bit but with a turnout of 3000+ people, this one was different for us. Solidarity – I can’t call it anything else. All of us out there running and walking together, blocking traffic together, freezing our butts off while our breaths puffed into vapor together. It was powerful and moving, honestly. I originally considered it something fun to do, but when you run next to people who are struggling with arthritis you gain a profound understanding of what this 5k really means to them. The run raised $145,626 for the Arthritis Foundation. That’s what 3000 people can do! I was one of them. Small things matter.
That evening I partnered with a friend who arranged for a small group of us to go down to the hospital and sing Christmas carols to the patients. There were only six of us but we were the anticipated event of the day it seems! The staff were so kind and gracious to us and we managed to bring smiles and spread Christmas cheer to quite a few of the patients. I used to sing at nursing homes as a choir kid. I didn’t realize the positive impact at the time. From the smiles I saw that night I know that the small things matter.
I’ll try not to get too mushy here. I’ve learned to enjoy Christmas time as a single young woman and I equally enjoy it being in a relationship with a great guy. After the caroling festivities the bf and I drove around town and looked at Christmas lights. We even found a lit Christmas village to stop and walk through in the chill and still night. I’ve talked about traditions before – this is another one I hope we keep up: handheld walks on silent nights. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy twinkle lights in the neighbors’ yards, cloudless and star-encrusted night skies, and (trust me on this one) that hot cup of tea is so much more fabulous afterwards. Quality time with the ones we love doesn’t seem hard, but they’re the ones who are most often taken for granted in our lives so its worth being intentional. Small things matter.
I stress over gifts and plans so much during Christmas. I’m glad that the little things are the most important. Two thousand years ago a baby was born who changed the world. That’s why I celebrate the hope and joy of this season. The small things matter.