Ex-Catholic Nun + Brooklyn Jewish Husband: How to Celebrate?

Millie Grenough Author of Oasis in the Overwhelm, Coach, Speaker,Trainer. Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine. EMDR-Level II: specialty in Performance Enhancement

photo: Millie Grenough

Okay, here’s the situation: I’m an ex-Catholic nun married to a Brooklyn Jewish guy. Hanukkah is over. Christmas is coming. Silent Night and Rudolph have been assaulting my husband for the past four weeks. Me? I got teary last Saturday when I heard a teenager singing O Holy Night at Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity. And Nat King Cole singing Chestnuts roasting… that still moves me. This much, though, is clear: There’s no more room in my recycle bin for the pitches for Perfect Gift: Buy Me Now!

What’s it all about, anyway?

Cutting to the core — whether it’s manger, menorah, mosque, or a candle celebrating the solstice or Buddha’s birthday — it’s about LIGHT. LIGHT coming into our lives, now, on this planet. Truly, what a miracle!

When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of the bogeyman. Some nights, when I knew he was under my bed, I just couldn’t get to sleep. Funny thing: When a grown-up walked in calmly, with a flashlight, I knew that help was here. My rescuer picked up the overhanging bed covers, shone the light under the bed, and said in a calm voice:

“Come on out of your bed… take a look with me…”

Bingo! Just like that, I was safe: No bogeyman under there!

So many bogeymen dance on our front pages these days. Stokes our fears big time. Don’t want to be scared by those bogeymen…

What can I do to not be deluded/captured/terrified by fear?
Where can I seek light?
How to banish the bogeys in my own heart?

In these days of yet another solstice, may we be grateful for each other, celebrate the light, honor the miracle of living together on this planet, and shine our lights wherever we can.