Quote of the Day: I wonder as I wander out under the sky, how Jesus the savior did come for to die. For poor orn’ry people like you and like I. I wonder as I wander…
(I plan to sing this song on Christmas Eve during the prelude at my church’s service. The tune and the words set me to pondering.)
The song, I Wonder as I Wander, has an interesting story. You can read about it in a beautiful picture book by Gwenyth Swain and illustrated by Ronald Himler. John Jacob Niles, who is credited for this song, was a wanderer himself, traveling about collecting folksongs. This one was sung to him by a young girl in Murphy, North Carolina. In the story that Swain describes, the girl and her father are traveling from place to place, telling their story, singing their songs, gathering just enough from the locals to be able to move on. I think they’re trying to keep ahead of their pain because the mama in the story has passed, and they’re grieving.
We all wander, don’t we? And, I wonder…how can we make this a more beautiful stop on the Earth for each other? Here we are celebrating Christmas and other holidays, buying, baking, wrapping, sending. But, are we pausing? Are we living in the moment and cherishing our relationships? It’s not all cheer and eggnog just because it’s the holidays. Many people feel melancholy from recent changes in their lives. Someone might be missing who usually joins them around the table. And, while we cling to traditions, they can be cause for not being able to move on and make new memories.
We put up an artificial tree this year, for the first time. Bobby commented on it. I said I didn’t think I’d ever go fake, but now that I have, I don’t plan to go back. I said, “I am kind of a traditionalist.” He said, “I wouldn’t say that.” That gave me pause. Maybe I am someone who can embrace change and do something a new way. (Embrace was my word for the year.)
“Christmas is a state of mind.” I believe that quote comes from Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street, one of the many holiday movies I’ve watched while baking and wrapping and preparing my home for the holidays.
When the tree goes dark, the wrapping tossed, and the meal cleaned up, what lingers are the words shared, the love felt, and the senses filled with the sights, sounds, smells, and memories of time together with friends and family.
I’ll see you back here in the New Year!
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What do you wonder as you wander?
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Great post (as usual) Mary 🙂 Happy Holidays to you and your family. 2012 will be a bright and exciting year!
Wishing you many beautiful memories this season, and a very Merry Christmas, Mary. Peace and Happiness in 2012 …
Beautiful post. Beautiful picture of your family. I needed to read this today: “And, I wonder…how can we make this a more beautiful stop on the Earth for each other?” as I’m thinking it’s all about me.
Merry Christmas, sweet girl.
In the past we’ve also had that song as a prelude to the Christmas Eve service, sung by one of the congregation who would literally “wander” through the church, singing a capella, as people came in. It was very moving.
What a well written beautiful post here sweetie. I love seein’ the pic of you and your precious crew.
May we never forget why we celebrate the greatest gift of all.
God bless an have a very wonderful Christmas with your lovely family!!! :o)
Such a beautiful question, as to how we can make a more beautiful stop for others on earth with us. Christmas has been hard for me in the past, and I always feel a twinge with the seemingly inescapable reminders for those who have lost someone or who are lonely. My husband posted a quote by Mary Oliver on FB today that came into my head when reading your post: “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
What a beautiful, thoughtful post. That is one of my favorite songs. I heard it first as we learned it back in my high school choir. It has stayed with me ever since.
This is a beautiful post. This sounds like an interesting story behind this song. I’ll have to check it out. I’ve definitely taken more time to pause this season.
Mary, I’m glad I didn’t miss this one. It’s a lovely reflection. I was humming this song the other day, wondering if you were still planning to sing it. I’m so glad you will! It’s haunting in a way, but so beautiful, and so much about our quest on this earth. Your thoughts on Christmas and what it’s really about are pure and true. I’m looking forward to sharing time with you soon. Oh, and your photo is precious! Love it! XXOO, have a wonderful Christmas!
Beautifully said and I wish I could hear you sing it on Christmas Eve. Wishing you a fabulous Christmas and a hopeful New Year!! 🙂
What a beautiful post. And may I just say you have the handsomest set of sons!!
Merry Christmas to you and your boys. 🙂
What a great picture of y’all!!
Great post, and very true. Everything will get put away after the holidays are over, but we made memories we get to keep. Hope you had a great Christmas and blessings to you this New Year!
This Sunday I’m thinking of singing “Long Time Ago in Bethlehem”, I will be thinking of Dad the whole time! Thanks for the post Mary.
we switched to an artificial tree a few years ago. It’s kind of sad, but also kind of nice, too.
Just droppin’ in to wish ya a wonderful New Year sweetie!!!
God bless ya :o)
Lovely post. Embrace is a good one. See you next year!