Archives for December 2014

Thought for the Month – Are you still searching?



There was once an old woman named Babushka. Though her husband had died and her children had left long ago, she baked and cleaned and ironed and scrubbed until her house was the cleanest and best provisioned in town. One afternoon, just as dusk was beginning to fall, she heard bells ringing outside. After a while, there was a loud rap at her door and found three old men standing outside in the snow.
“We have come a long way,” they told her, “in search of a Baby Prince who will be born this night. He comes to teach us all to be loving and kind. We want to give him gifts but first we need to eat and rest. Will you invite us in?”
Babushka was thrilled. She fed them with pies and puddings and cakes and biscuits and soon their bellies were so full that they fell asleep on the beds she had made up for them. In the morning, they asked her if she would like to go with them to see the Baby Prince. For a moment, she was tempted but it was cold outside and her little house now needed a good clear up and clean to make it perfect again. Besides, the three kings had eaten her out of house and home and she needed to replenish her stocks. So she told them to go on ahead and promised to catch them up once she’d finished her busyness.
It took her ages and even then she was not satisfied that it was perfect enough! Nevertheless, once she had finished she went to the cupboard where she kept all of the toys that her own children had played with such a long time ago and put them in a basket. Then she shrugged on her long cloak, locked up the little house and set out across woods and fields, villages and towns, asking everyone she met if they had seen the Baby Prince. Though no-one had, she would always take a toy from her basket and leave it by the pillow of each child for them to find in the morning.
The day she found the Baby Prince, he was no longer a child but a grown man with the kindest eyes she had ever seen. He also seemed to know everything about her. For instance, he knew that her cosy fire had kept her from seeking him that night long ago. He also knew that she regretted that she had not gone with the kings to find him, and that she had been seeking him ever since. But the thing that astonished her most of all was that he didn’t seem to mind one little jot that she wasn’t perfect.
“Come in and rest Babushka,” he said, looking at her with love. “You are home. At last.”
And so Babushka found the Prince she was looking for and, as of course you already know, she lived happily ever after.

This Russian tale is my favourite Christmas story. Like us, Babushka is entirely human with her preoccupations, concerns, busyness and desire to be perfect. Instead of taking the amazing opportunity that is presented to her, she chooses to stay behind and do what she has always done. How often do we miss opportunities because we have a timetable to follow or obligations to fulfil? This Christmas, let’s try to be more spontaneous and go with the flow of what happens. And watch for the kind eyes of compassion that understand who we really are. Then look with those eyes on others and smile, irrespective of how we may have been in the past with them. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be open to possibilities.

Wishing you a very joyful Christmas.

Love Laurelle x