Glorious Impossible

Every year I wait for Christmas to come in its own special way.  One year it was the alto and soprano soloists each singing the aria,”He Shall Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd.”  They were part of the Augustana College Oratorio Society performing Handel’s The Messiah.  The women’s lovely voices–especially on the high G notes of the soprano’s aria–commanded my attention.  In those moments, upon hearing the words, “Take His yoke upon you and learn of him / for he is meek and lowly of heart / and ye shall find rest / and ye shall find rest unto your soul,” I felt my heart overflowing with gratitude, my spirit renewed.

Another time, shortly after the death of my husband, Alec Azure, I had moved from Chicago to Fairfax, Virginia.  One late afternoon I was out walking and came upon a young boy weeping into his hands.  I stopped by him and asked if I could help.  Through tears that covered his cheeks, he cried, “I feel so bad about myself.”  And I, burdened by the same, tried to assure him that we, as a human race, have all experienced these feelings but have to go on, forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes.  And I went on.  Days later I wept, realizing the Christmas Rose had come again.

On December 17th of this year, Christmas once again visited me!  A poster arrived in the mail, sent by my good friend, Ray Kimball.  Titled “Msit No’kmaq,” meaning “All My Relations,” the poster is a colorful depiction of Mi’kmaq family clans.  And guess what?  Spider is there!  Awo’kaq!  Awo’kweijit!  What an affirmation of Grandmother Spider’s visit to me the summer of 1994 when I retreated to some woods in Wisconsin, seeking new direction in my life–even beseeching the name of my clan!  Then, I did not understand her visit.  But I never doubted that she would teach me.  My memoir, Along Came a Spider, recounted this incident and how, in the ensuing years, I have learned about Spider’s importance in my life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I am convinced of the glorious compatibility of Native and Christian spirituality.  So I have arranged a miniature alabaster crèche on my kitchen windowsill.  Above  the figures, I have hung a purple-beaded rendition of Spider, who stretches down to where the baby lay.  I regard this as a bold link of greeting from deities come to earth to bless and champion all who seek succor, including me.



(c) December 2013 by Alice M. Azure