Preparing the Gifts of the Magi

Starting at 11:30 pm on New Year’s Eve we grind frankincense, myrrh, and homeopathic gold in a mortar and pestle for a full hour. This is an aromatic activity, the scent intoxicating us with the change of the year, the past and the future all together in this very moment. It is a time to reflect and anticipate, while also enjoying the liveliness of the eternal present.

A question comes: What have I learned in this last year?  —Life is precious. A dear friend has passed this year; the last time we ground the gift, he was with us. This year we will wish his spirit well wherever he may be. —I have learned that there is nothing more satisfying than a long morning walk with a small herd of— perhaps!— indulged goats!  —That when you are quiet for long enough, you can hear  the whispered wisdom of the valley oaks, the jokes of the crows, the haunting warning of the great horned owl.

Our wish for you, no matter where you are,  is that you, too, receive these gifts of the Magi: wisdom, liveliness of spirit, the survival of death that is the eternal present. Stirring the preps, or grinding the gifts of the Magi, calms us, centers us, aligns us with something much bigger. The humbling act of farming or gardening reminds us how much we need to listen, how much we need not only the earth’s fruits but her wisdom as well. This year in the face of such earth change we also wonder if the Earth also needs us. May we each do our part to bring ourselves in balance with Her and Her rhythms.

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