Since I began choosing a word and symbol for the year, or more accurately, since they began choosing me, I commemorate each year by purchasing a symbolic Christmas tree ornament. And even further back, I started the custom of buying a heart for myself every December. Tonight, while out shopping with my daughters, in preparation for Elissa’s upcoming wedding, I found this year’s unique ornaments.
My word this year was Beyond and the symbol I was given to represent that word was an empty birdcage, with a bird outside the cage. It has been a powerful symbol for me, representing freedom, yes, and also it has been a reminder that the gilded cage that I occupied for so long was built by me, bar by bar, with my limited thinking and beliefs. I discovered a couple of years ago that the door to that cage was never even locked. My own thoughts and belief system kept me prisoner as surely as a locked door would have. As soon as I pushed through that door, I grew. I could never return to that cage again.
Interestingly, the past three years, as I have been given my symbol for the upcoming year, the retail market trends have supported that choice. So the year the butterfly was my symbol, I found butterflies everywhere. And the following year, when I shifted to dragonflies, they appeared in retail stores in droves, making it very easy to purchase symbolic items during my journey. I noticed that butterflies were not so prevalent, and I wondered. This year, very few dragonflies were available, yet birds and birdcages were everywhere! The synchronicities that point to my word and symbol begin appearing well ahead of the end of the current year, and ahead of the market, so it’s not that I see what’s on the shelves and then choose the symbol. It is quite the other way around. We will see what happens with next year’s symbol.
Tonight, I browsed through hundreds of Christmas ornaments at Hobby Lobby, looking for a bird to hang near the golden birdcage that I purchased recently at Blue Moon Market. I was thinking of a simple clip on bird in gold or silver tones. What I found was a delicate, shimmering blown glass bird ornament with strips of muslin creating the tail feathers. It is beautiful. And it is very different! I love it.
I searched for a heart ornament next. I began buying a different heart-shaped ornament each year 12 years ago. Most of the hearts are silver or clear glass, to remind me that I have an open, mithril heart…strong, beautiful, valuable, vibrant. No two heart ornaments are the same. Some are large and bold. Some are small and intricate. One has a tiny bell attached to it. All remind me of who I am, who I am becoming. I enjoy sitting in the evenings, with the room lights off and the white Christmas tree lights twinkling, and seeing all the hearts sparkling as they reflect the light. My heart, too, is full of light.
I was almost to the end of the ornament section when I spied this year’s perfect heart. It is clear glass and has a white snowflake etched on it. The snowflake reminds me of the movie Frozen, which reminds me of my theme song for this year, “Let It Go”! How cool is that?
Soon I will be purchasing a Douglas Fir or Fraser Fir tree and unpacking the ornaments. I love spending an evening decorating the tree, handling each ornament, and remembering where it came from. So many traditions are spiritual rituals for me, reminders of deep truths. I am excited to add these beautiful and unique ornaments to my growing collection!
Ornaments are displayed on my potted Norfolk Pine.