A Short Message of Peace

If you’re reading this, then the world didn’t end and we’re all still muddling along trying to make sense of the world as Christmas approaches … a cause for celebration indeed! But the holidays will be far from joyous for many families this year. Join The Mountain Farmgirl as she offers a tiny little antidote for doomsday thinking, holiday blues, weather woes and national tragedy in a short  Message of Peace

“Stop the world, I want to get off!” …  That’s what a whole lot of folks usually start thinking right about now as commitments, obligations, and (often self-imposed) pressures mount to a fevered pitch.  Fortunately, 2012 Doomsday predictions are at least something we can now cross off our worry list.  The human race may still hang in the balance of an unstable world, but at least we won’t go up in smoke because of the end of an ancient calendar or the mystical predictions of Nostradamus.

Despite our global reprieve, however, many people feel sadness and depression instead of joy this time of year. Loss of a loved one, loneliness, alienation, unemployment, failed relationships, illness and many other personal disappointments are some of the causes of holiday doldrums. For many, the warm and fuzzy Norman Rockwell-type scene of Christmastide down on the farm is not a reality they can look forward to. And for some, this year in particular, homelessness and destruction due to Hurricane Sandy have dampened spirits in more ways than one.

Of course the horrific school shooting – in the forefront of everyone’s minds -- has already taken much of the wind out of our sails, but for the families themselves, it threatens to be a day of suffocating sadness. If we have somehow been personally spared these tragedies, do we dare to feel and spread Christmas joy without feelings of guilt?

The answer is YES. Thankfulness and gratitude are both entirely appropriate, but feeling guilty for our blessings is not. Sharing our abundance, our love, our sympathy, lending our ears to someone who needs to be heard and giving of ourselves are all right  responses, but (as it says in the bible), hiding our light under a bushel is not what we are called to do.

This holiday, some of the best things we can possibly do are tiny efforts with a HUGE impact.  Let’s  reach out to a friend, lend a helping hand to a neighbor, perform an act of kindness for a stranger, share a smile from your heart to everyone you meet. Let’s light the world in a blaze of fire by sharing our love, and creating moments of joy where previously there were none.  These are seemingly little things, but with them we change our world, one Farmgirl at a time. The here and now is all we’ve got … and what a gift it is (that’s why they call it the present!). Wishing every one the blessed message of Christmas, regardless of circumstance, and a wonderful New Year ahead! See you all in 2013.

Until next time,
Mountain Bounty, Mountain Blessings from Cathi,
The Mountain Farmgirl


By: Mary
On: 01/21/2013 18:29:52
Totally agree with you that the best way to celebrate Christmas is to reach out to someone in need, with a smilie, a hand to help a frenzied mother with several children, or an elderly neighbor......anything to show the kindness of Jesus, to let your light shine........be a good neighbor. That's what AMERICA is all about, right, and being farmgirls, too. Love your blog. thanks for making it happen.

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Cathi Belcher

Cathi Belcher,
an old-fashioned farmgirl with a pioneer spirit, lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a “lifelong learner” in the “Live-Free-or-Die” state, she fiercely values self-reliance, independence, freedom, and fresh mountain air. Married to her childhood sweetheart of 40+ years (a few of them “uphill climbs”), she’s had plenty of time to reinvent herself. From museum curator, restaurant owner, homeschool mom/conference speaker, to post-and-beam house builder and entrepreneur, she’s also a multi-media artist, with an obsession for off-grid living and alternative housing. Cathi owns and operates a 32-room mountain lodge. Her specialty has evolved to include “hermit hospitality” at her rustic cabin in the mountains, where she offers weekend workshops of special interest to women.

“Mountains speak to my soul, and farming is an important part of my heritage. I want to pass on my love of these things to others through my writing. Living in the mountains has its own particular challenges, but I delight in turning them into opportunities from which we can all learn and grow.”

Column content copyright © 2010– Cathi Belcher. All rights reserved.

Mountain Bounty

“Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away once in awhile to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, to wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir