Monday, December 22, 2008

Finding Faith and Common Ground The Best That They Were Able

I made my way back from my longest road trip with me at the wheel - for thirty-two years, my road trips have involved me sleeping in the passenger seat while my "driver" deals with the traffic. After the training in Sac, I headed south to Hollister to spend some pre-holiday with my sister and her family. I listened to my iPod and sang at the top of my lungs for over 700 miles, Christmas songs interspersed with my regular mix. Somewhere around Laytonville, in the dark and the rain, Dar Williams came on. It was fitting since it was Solstice and, as always, this song made me tear up. Not sure why except that the sentiments are amazing. So, if you've never heard her do "The Christians and the Pagans", consider this my gift to you - the lyrics are below. A late Happy Solstice and a Happy Merry Christmahannakwanzakhah to all, and to all a good night:


Amber called her uncle, said "we're up here for the holiday
Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay."
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree
He watched his son hang candy canes all made with red dye number three
He told his niece, "It's Christmas Eve, I know our life is not your style."
She said "Christmas is like Solstice and we miss you and it's been a while."

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able
And just before the meal was served hands were held and prayers were said
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said "is it true that you're a witch ?"
His mom jumped up and said "the pies are burning" and she hit the kitchen
And it was Jane who spoke, she said "it's true your cousin's not a Christian
But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God and we find magic everywhere."

so the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able
And where does magic come from ? I think magic's in the learning
Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said "really, no don't bother"
Amber's uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father
He thought about his brother, how they hadn't spoken in a year
He thought he'd call him up and say "it's Christmas and your daughter's here"
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve
Saying "can I be a pagan ?" Dad said "we'll discuss it when they leave"

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old
And making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold

2 comments:

Sandi said...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Kym said...

The lyrics are filling my eyes with tears too. Something so beautiful about the world slowly, over centuries, learning to get along with one another. Who knows, in another 1000 years the Middle East may be peaceful, too.