Today is a day that is meant for celebration. In the Pagan tradition, it is called Yule. It marks the first day of the Winter season, the shortest day of the year and the time to acknowledge the coming return of the sun as it grows stronger and the days start to get longer. In tribute to the new season, the sun is represented by the Horned One, the male aspect of creation. Often depicted as a stag, the Horned One is a symbol of strength, protection and the life force in animals (including humans!). Sometimes he is represented as the Green Man or Jack-of-the-Green. He arrives today with the gift of the promise of Spring renewal and he is honoured at feasts where sharing the bounty of the harvests with others is a gesture of appreciation for all the wonderful blessings received and yet to come.
But for one local couple, this day is a day of sadness and frustration. J and D woke up to find their holiday light display destroyed. Many hours had been invested in decorating their yard with festive and jolly lighted ornaments for all who passed by to see and enjoy. Then someone came by in the dark of the night and smashed it all. Snoopy was torn from his dog house. Santa’s legs were both broken. A lamppost was bent in half. And the pretty exhibition was left in a shambles.
Who does this? Who thinks that it is okay to ruin things like this? Who has so little regard for their community? For these lovely and festive trimmings did, indeed, belong to the community. It sickens and saddens me that this element thrives in Houston. Yet, I must accept that the good always must come with the bad. That doesn’t mean that this malicious behaviour must be tolerated. In fact, as a community, we need to make sure that the culprits are either held responsible, or, at the very least, get the message – loud and clear – that the rest of us will not sit down and just take it.
Earlier this year I had to replace a hose holder thingie at the library after someone broke it and left the pieces laying on the walkway. I was quite put out by this minor bit of vandalism and my first impulse was to just remove what was left attached to the building and not replace it. My initial intention was to drag the hose out of the shed every time I needed it and to keep it locked up when it wasn’t in use. Then one of the library board members shared a very powerful bit of wisdom with me.
“Fix it,” she said.
I thought she was nuts. Why waste the time, the effort and the money? Isn’t that like inviting the vandals to just do it again?
“If you fix it,” she said, “you are saying that you care and you are not going to let them defeat you.”
So I did. I bought a new hose holder thingie and I attached it to the wall and I hung up the hose and I refused to be intimidated into being greatly inconvenienced by some knot head with nothing better to do than ruin things just because.
I hope that J and D will not let themselves be defeated. If I had the money I would buy a new display for them. I will do what I can.
Houston means too much to me, as do the good people in it – like J and D. We may not be close friends, but we are fellow community members. And I for one want to see their beautiful holiday display restored. If anyone else would like to help, please message me or reply to this blog post. Let’s give J and D a reason to celebrate!