What if you
could run hard
to the edge of the cliff,
take to the sky,
Where would you go?
What would you do?
You’d find me
soaring higher, higher, and higher,
just to see how far I could go.
“You see, life is a very special kind of thing, not just for a chosen few. But for each and every living breathing thing. Not just me and you…Say a prayer for the wind, and the water, and the wood, and those who live there, too.” ~Alfie as told by John Denver and The Muppets
Over the last few days, I’ve spent a lot of time reading and writing. All my life, words (mine and those of others) have helped me through difficult circumstances. Yesterday, I looked to the potent words of one of my favorite set of philosophers, The Muppets. I usually wait until closer to Christmas time to post this poem, but after the week we’ve had I think we need it now. I certainly do. Though I don’t celebrate the religious aspects of Christmas, I do very much hold to the spirit of the season, and its ideals, hope, and light. (And I of course support my friends who do believe in its religious significance.) The poem below tells the story of Alfie, a tree, who by all accounts is one of the most thoughtful beings and who has a particular penchant for believing in the rights of all living things. I hope it brings you as much comfort as it brings me.
“Alfie: The Christmas Tree”
Did you ever hear the story of the Christmas Tree
who just didn’t want to change the show?
He liked living in the woods and playing with squirrels, he liked icicles and snow.
He liked wolves and eagles and grizzly bears
and critters and creatures that crawled.
Why bugs were some of his very best friends, spiders and ants and all.
Now that’s not to say that he ever looked down on the vision of twinkling lights,
or on mirrored bubbles and peppermint canes and a thousand other delights.
And he often had dreams of tiny reindeer
and a jolly old man and a sleigh full of toys and presents and wonderful things,
and the story of Christmas Day.
Oh, Alfie believed in Christmas all right, he was full of Christmas cheer.
All of each and every day and all throughout the year.
To him it was more than a special time much more than a special day,
It was more than a beautiful story. It was a special kind of way.
You see, some folks have never heard a jingle bell ring,
And they’ve never heard of Santa Claus.
They’ve never heard the story of the Son of God. And that made Alfie pause.
Did that mean that they’d never know of peace on earth
or the brotherhood of man?
Or know how to love, or know how to give? If they can’t, no one can.
You see, life is a very special kind of thing, not just for a chosen few.
But for each and every living breathing thing. Not just me and you.
So in your Christmas prayers this year, Alfie asked me if I’d ask you
to say a prayer for the wind, and the water, and the wood,
and those who live there, too.