Joyful Melancholy

Christmas carols accompany as I wander
through the stores, pondering carefully,
so I may give to those, whom I love dearly,
during this joyful holiday season

I hear beautiful, amazing grace in the lyrics
and I wish for my soul to be at peace
Then I think of those whose lives
are filled with pain and tears commence

Guilt overcomes me, as I feel grateful
for the many blessings I’ve been given
How can I feel content when others are hungry,
hoping for a roof to cover their aching hearts?

It isn’t fair others are hurting while we top the tree
with our treasured angel and throw on the tinsel
It isn’t fair they cry for help to come their way
While we roll out the dough and make festive cookies

There is no balance of these confusing emotions
So, what must be the answer to comfort…
to stop the blood from shedding and
the tears from falling, to end the starving?

By showing we care, we silently say our prayers
for those who struggle in their everyday lives
May love hug their souls to heal their wounds and
May their strife be entwined with a whirlwind of serenity

Copyright 2011

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32 thoughts on “Joyful Melancholy

  1. What a great and poignant message!

    I love the way your ‘heart’ thinks Lauren, I also feel guilty every Xmas when we run out to buy prezzies(sometimes useless gifts) for everybody when there are charities out there who need our help…

  2. I love the compassion in this poem – simply beautiful, as it portrays the extreme conditions of the holidays – those who have, and those who are without. I wish there was more we could all do…. Thank you for the light you shine into the world, Lauren.

  3. Lauren, thank you SO much for casting this perspective on our holiday celebrations. We must remember the reason for the season, after all! Let us all join all the community service efforts we can to love all the others we can. The Babe loved them: that is all the reason we need!

    • Thank you, Rose, for your graceful response. These feelings have been with me for awhile, so I needed to put them down on paper…I always love to receive your feedback and words of wisdom!

  4. isn’t it funny how these emotions – sadness, guilt – can hit us even during the most happiest times. sometimes, where there is beauty and happiness, there is also the complete lack of them. wonderful, as always ❤

  5. Sometimes just the slightest gesture can make such a difference — a smile; opening the door for someone laden down with packages; donating pennies for literacy or other causes like the Salvation Army; donating can goods… The list goes on and so will we in our endeavours: one smile and penney at a time.

  6. Oh, the paradox of this life! Very thought provoking lines here, Lauren. As I go through this season, I’ll definitely try to make a difference in the life of at least one unfortunate person this year. I’ve really been thinking about it and this poem is encouraging me to follow through. Thanks for sharing…

  7. I read this previously, and I commented, but my internet was having trouble and I just realized it did not post…and now I cannot recall what I said originally lol

    But! This time when I read it I was prompted to recall a trip I took to a very poor area in Asia that had been hit by a flood. The residents were living in cardboard shacks and under bridges. I watched in amazement as they emerged from those horrendous conditions wearing pressed clothing and polished shoes to go work at the mall in the upscale part of town. They literally guarded their one change of nice clothes and held down a poor paying job to sell fine products to rich people and tourists. And they were some of the happiest people I had ever met. Surprisingly, I was not immediately driven to give them the life of a wealthy person, I was more challenged to give myself their life, and recognize again what we all should already know: that happiness is not a gift, an amount of money, a place, or even a person. Happiness is the outcome of expectations and attitude, and it can be found anywhere that people exist. I will not be purchasing or exchanging gifts this Christmas. A few handmade things may be handed back and forth, but I have no interest in the revel of holiday gluttony or overspending. I want to be thankful for what I have, with nothing else required. Thank you for a reminder of that, Lauren! Wonderful thoughts. We are all “in need” and we must open the door for the person behind us, keeping in mind that life is not about me. It is about them.

    • What can I say, VW? You wrote this so eloquently; very well said. You are so right about the true meaning of happiness; it’s really all in the attitude and how we react to circumstances. Truthfully, we are anticipating something that may or may not happen by the end of the year and therefore, we aren’t going crazy with spending, either. I don’t know what we did, but our “kids” (16 & 20) are so well grounded and mostly concerned about us. I love them so much, it hurts, sometimes. Anyway, your story is amazing and all the wealth in the world doesn’t bring happiness automatically. It’s truly about the giving, whether it’s monetarily, time, food, or simply just “being there” for someone who needs a good listener. It’s the commercialism that is taking over on a much higher scale and it’s very sad. It would be nice if everyone had the same “giving” attitude and not so rushed to go out and spend. I look forward to simply being with our family, just “being.” Thanks for sharing your story; it also helps to put things in perspective! Hugs!

  8. very well-written, Mom! It’s always hard during the holida season when we know there are more people in need. We just have to keep the faith and hope that things will get better. You know how to capture the readers in your simplicity but also in the emotions that you bring to life. 🙂

  9. That last line is especially incredible, Lauren! I think that’s where I finally am–serenity’s whirlwind entwining the strife so that it’s not so overwhelmingly difficult anymore. (And some days, not difficult at all, PTL!) Thank you for putting it so well!!

    • Thanks, Caddo, for some reason, I’ve felt this way even more so in the last couple of years. Maybe it comes with aging and knowing more of what is going on around us…Anyway, I’m grateful for your visit and kind comment and for you being wrapped up in the arms of serenity~

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