This Christmas morning sunrise today, on this little New Mexican farm, held the characteristic colors of New Mexican sunrises and sunsets. The sassy soil has pinks in its hues from the red clay which has, for centuries, flowed down into this valley created by a violent rupture in the earth’s crust, spotted by the lava from the many volcanoes on Albuquerque’s west side. The greens are darkest in winter, splashes from trees and the struggling alfalfa holding tight to life until Spring rains come just in the nick of time.
The clouds create the kisses of color – the baby-pinks-and-blues which, set against the oranges of nature’s fierce fire of life, set up a series of colors which are more than enough gift on they Christmas Morning.
Needing new soup bowls and tea bowls for my kitchen, I worked hard this fall to create a glaze combination which, to the best of my ability, captured these New Mexican sunrise colors – the expanse of sandy ground, mottled with lava stones and finished with dark greens fading into the pinks and blues of sunrise. My pottery, Setting Moon Pottery ,named as it is for morning-moon darkness and sunrise, reflects how often I throw pots watching the orchestra of color demanding awe of the divine – whatever names we pathetically apply to it in our arrogance and our vain attempts to dominate it.
Today is a day for colors but, for me here on this little farm, the colors are not red and green. Not the light of a tree or the sparkle of glass balls, brass candlesticks, silk brocades. No. Today, Christmas Day 2017, is a day of pinks, yellows and baby-blues. The colors of a child. A baby. An innocent, falsely charged, tortured and killed as a scapegoat.
What cup might I make to offer water to an exhausted mother in a manger or a large man on a cross? A cup of simple clay with the colors of a New Mexican Sunrise.
A Christmas Morning Blessing
Blessed be this day.
Blessed be this Christmas day.
Blessing rest on the heads of children in families
whose gifts cover a carpeted floor under a tree of lights.
Blessing rest on the heads of homeless children
awakening in the shelters of our cities, awakening to
a new day of walking in streets and reading in parked, cold cars.
Blessing rest on parents bustling around breakfast casseroles
refereeing toy ownership and hosting puzzles by firesides.
Blessing rest on parents whose poverty calls into question
this “loving God” referred to by wealthy Americans who trust
in a God who provides wealth to rule-keepers.
Blessing rest on the hands and hearts of those, this Christmas Day,
who comfort and serve the financially and emotionally poor, marginalized and hope-starved.
Blessing flow from the rivers, pouring water into dry fields.
Blessing flow from a warm sun, rising each day to warm a planet
perfectly positioned to receive it into life – blue and green.
Blessing flow from animals and plants, the meat of which feeds this planet.
Blessing on the sick who hunger for vitality.
Blessing on we rich who hunger for enough with tine to read blogs and write them.
Blessing on the grief-stricken, whose loved ones and loved-lives have vanished leaving vast deserts of sand and hot lava stones. But in which, if one were to look carefully, new life is hosted.
Blessing on families awakening, like Mary and Joseph, into a state of homelessness or flight, or hiding, or all three.
Blessing on the dogs and cats whose presence is a comfort to the hairless bipeds whose suffering is soothed by a lick, a purring, a spooning and the heavy eyes of a pet which stands in witness and vigil, both.
Blessing on the hope which dawns on Christmas morning when churches are locked and blessedly silent even if for only a few hours.
Blessing on a Bishop’s mitre, a man’s AIDS virus and a child’s leprosy, all.
May we all, once boxes and bows have been secreted away for another year, spend this day in compassion for the dry sand ochres and lava rocks black while also celebrating baby pinks and blues.
Blessing on the cruel, the stupid, the caring and the kind. Christmas is a story in which all take center-stage together. In our desperate desire to scapegoat and achieve, may we remember a Savior who wanted nothing more than healing and peace, a simple meal and prayer emerging to celebrate considerably less pomp and rather more circumstance.
Blessing on sunrises and good tea. And Black Dog.
Blessing on enough.