From segmented green stems
come buds of growth,
extensions of the life that is.
But then, a surprise,
a red tip, like a droplet of blood,
builds and expands,
And unfurls in a burst of color
that are the blossoms
of the cactus flower.
These gifts of the Christmas Cactus,
as precious as the gifts of the Magi,
are hope and life.
They are affirmations of continuation,
in the deepest dark of winter.
They are bursts of joy that inspire us to hope.
The universe is continuously ringing with bells, so very many Angel bells
More than the sum of all the Christmas lights
More than the total of all the cookies consumed
More than the needles on the fir trees
or the prayers of the lost and lonely
Ringing for the loved ones who are now angels
Ringing for all those who are left behind
Ringing for the children who still dare to hope
or the unfulfilled dreams with nowhere to sleep
Listen closely and you can hear the bells
It is the sound we hear in the falling snow
It is the cries of the newborn, the wheezes of the elderly
It is the breath of life, exhaled in a whisper
It is the beating heart of existence
We would do well to listen