Thursday, December 31, 2015

At the closing of the year

Let Joy and Innocence Prevail
Back in the day when Miss V was little enough to be called the Wee Bairn, Captain Midnight and I lived in the basement of her home. V would often come downstairs to spend time with us, reading books and playing computer games and coming up with various other kindergartner-style diversions.
Yes, my desk was just as messy back then as it is now.
One of her favorite things to do was jump on the queen-sized bed in our bedroom, but as this is Miss V we're discussing, the activity required a little more finesse. She would turn off the bedroom lights, get something shiny such as a flashlight or glowstick, and then she'd say, "Suzie, play the music!" which was my cue to turn on the soundtrack to Toys -- specifically, the main theme called "The Closing of the Year" by Wendy and Lisa (with later contributions by Seal). Miss V would proceed to bounce with wild abandon, whirling her shiny object around in big open circles, which she could see reflected in the glass of the picture hung above our bed.

I guess it's appropriate that V always wanted to jump around to music from Toys. It is in many ways a peculiar movie, not to be watched for its cohesive storyline as much as for its imaginative music and beautifully surreal, René Magritte-inspired visuals; it probably makes more sense as an extended music video than as a narrative film. But its motto throughout is "Let joy and innocence prevail." And remembering little Miss V bouncing and whirling to the music, drinking in every ounce of happiness that could be taken from that moment and generally having the time of her life, I'm hard-pressed to think of a better visual example of joy and innocence prevailing.

Christmas, and the other winter holidays that bring the calendar year to a close, are traditionally celebrations of joy and of innocence. And while the full expression of childhood innocence inevitably fades over time and with the advent of life experiences, joy never need be extinguished. It can be continually replenished in a number of ways, perhaps the best of which is doing anonymous acts of kindness and service for others. This is where the ancient tradition of Santa Claus originated, and where the modern tradition of paying it forward is rooted. And I believe doing service for others brings such joy because the act of doing good for others is recognized and blessed by one's Creator, and is a way of showing love for Him as well as for them. In the words of a particularly wise king, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

As always, thanks for reading, and have a joyous 2016.

No comments: