I’ve enjoyed sixty-three Christmases with family and friends. Most of them were at home in the suburbs just south of Vancouver, and in the charming old heart of Vienna. A few were in rural India. One was in New Jersey, and one in North Carolina.
Although all of these occasions bring back colourful memories of abundance and joy, one of the most memorable happened when I was, internally and externally, quite down and out — at the bottom of a long dive that was about to transform into a steady ascent that is still bringing me higher and higher today.
Forty years ago, Christmas 1981 (before portable telephones, personal computers, The Internet, etc.) I was living in a ‘shack by the railroad track’, on the edge of a wealthy neighbourhood. At this time of my life I used to have my place open to parties with local peers on the weekends. On Monday I would cash-in all the beer bottles to buy a bit of food for the week.
My fridge was always empty (except for all the alcohol from Friday to Sunday). On this occasion I came back to my humble home late Christmas evening and opened the fridge for some reason. I can’t describe to you my utter surprise when I FOUND IT PACKED FULL OF EVERY IMAGINABLE FOOD! Although I tried to find out who did it, none of my many smiling friends would admit to doing the deed. I still don’t know.
When I moved back to Canada twenty years later, a mature married man who had traveled the world and enjoyed undreamed of wonderful experiences, it was about a year before I ran into one of the old crowd (back in the 1970s, a couple hundred teenagers, and then young adults, in North Delta). My heart sprang open and my chest was filled with gravity-defying mirth! Then that same day I ran into three more old buddies in various locations, between ten and thirty kilometers apart, something I consider nothing less than a miracle. (As a result I ended up organizing a reunion that brought about a hundred and fifty of us back together for a nostalgic gathering.)
One thing that life has taught me is that Friendship is the highest form of love (collective consciousness). Even in a family, if the members aren’t ‘friends’, there’s no real bond.
May the whole world become a family of best friends.
Merry Christmas 2021!
Lots of love,
(more here: https://edwardsaugstad.com/reaching-the-top-reloaded/ )