Monday, January 15, 2024

ANGELS AMONG US – A New Year’s Tradition Takes Wing

For the past decade or so, Sally and I have spent every New Years Eve in Scandia with my brother, Dan, his wife, Ruth Ann, and two other couples we’ve gotten to know through them.

Of course, there’s always good food—Ruth Ann’s an excellent cook—and wine—Dan is a fine sommelier. And everyone contributes an appetizer, side or dessert. The setting is incredible; their beautiful home sits atop a bluff overlooking a stretch of the scenic St. Croix River.

All these people are, each in their own way, smart, funny, talented and kind, and we share many interests. So conversation and laughter come easily.

Nonetheless, every year Dan, a week or two beforehand, throws out a theme for that year’s celebration. Everyone’s to bring something creative, their own or borrowed, that somehow expresses that theme. A reading, a hand-made craft item, a work of art or musical piece, or a group activity.

New Year’s 2023’s theme was “Angels,” and, as usual, everyone responded with something thoughtful and expressive of who they are.

It was heartwarming seeing and hearing all the interpretations of “angels,” ranging from silly to solemn, plainspoken to poetic. Some were quite touching.

While most saw their angels manifest in other people or things that have happened to them, Sally’s offering, typically, turned that on its head: First she handed out halo garlands. Then, once they floated above our heads, she asked each of us to share an experience in which we had been the angel.

Some were reticent to pretend to that status. Still, I think everyone walked a little taller after being urged to claim it. I mentioned my hospice volunteering.

The influence of the angel theme didn’t stop there. For the rest of the evening it kept popping up in the conversation. There was even talk of folks showing up Sunday at church next Sunday wearing those fuzzy halos.

And I won't be surprised if the evening's effects extend well into the new year
for some of us—maybe in the form of resolutions. Twenty-twenty-four: year of
the halo?

(In case you might be interested, here’s what I shared as my take on “angels”):


Once, they hovered, haloed
Revealed by none less than God,
A bridge from divine to human.

I’ve not seen such angels,
Not that they don’t exist,
Just that I don’t believe they do.

The kind I like are real, and I’ve met a few:
People, animals, trees…even experiences
That showed me the way, saved my hide…or soul.

My angels are like my god; they’re everywhere.
In me, around me, beyond me,
They show up exactly when I need them.

As mortals, though, we miss more than we see.
For angels don’t just happen to us; they happen from us.
From love, from presence, from faith.

We discern what we expect.
So with angels, as with other wonders,
Believing is seeing.

And that same generosity of sight, belief and spirit
That allows us to see angels prompts us to be angels.


Anonymous said...

That is so beautiful Jeff! Thank you! πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ€”πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸΎ

Jeffrey Willius said...

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the virtual world. I appreciate your kind words. (Wish I knew who you are.)

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting One Man's Wonder! I'd love to hear your comments on this post or my site in general.
And please stay in touch by clicking on "Subscribe" below.