This holiday season has been one of the most peaceful, paradoxically, as I get ready to move house. I took this photo when packing up Christmas ornaments, and that’s as close as they got to seeing the light of day this year.

Normally, I love getting caught up in all the seasonal excitement, but with books to sell and choir concerts to get ready for, in addition to the usual decorating and wrapping and baking, I can feel stressed. I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed. So, this year, anticipating the extra workload with all the packing and paperwork, I decided to let go of my Christmas routine — except the music. Music takes me to that peaceful yet energized place within myself, a state that I’ve always had access to, beyond the noise and hustle-bustle, the materialism, the worries stirred up by world news.

Every day holds promise, but this season of Winter Solstice and Christmas, and the new year around the corner, we’re reminded more often. We don’t have to buy hope and happiness; it’s inside all of us, part of our very DNA. My wish is that we can all experience our own transcendent state, in whatever way each of us does, more and more, until it spills out and ripples into each other’s lives. JOY to the world!


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