Its almost Christmas


“O come, let us adore Him…”

Our house now all set

for children and grandchildren

and beautiful friends.


“Joy to the world…”

Presents almost wrapped;

spices and condiments

and sugar cookies and

gravy and turkey

are about to parade

through our kitchen.
“God rest you, merry gentlemen and gentle women…”

Another Christmas

and I am yet a kid again;

my heart and body

ringing with the familiar

carols of new birth and hope.


“We three kinds of orient are…”

Scrambling, family, children,

siblings, schedules and all

the stuff that we stuff into

our reunions;

fantasies, hurts, hopes

and loyalties—

its all about being together,

practicing the evolution of

healing love,

the ever fierce practice

of love.


“Away in a manger….”

This Christmas

will be my eighty-first.

A caravan of Christmases

line up for my attention,

four score and one,

each uniquely perfect and


each exactly choreographed

by the landscape of my

own meanings.


“and God send you a happy new year…”

Will Jill’s gravy out-taste

her last perfectly delicious batch?

Will our families bless one another

and look back and say,

“Ah, how good to be together!”?


“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining…”

Will our giving and receiving

of spirit and Stuff and Things

reflect our loving kindness

and gratitude for life itself?

Will our table talk

offer the delicious taste

of hilarious gratitude, stories, and

a life of timely graces?


“Fall on your knees and hear the angel voices…”

Again, this year,

shall we unwrap each other

and look into the open mangers

of  our smiles with happy tears

and wonder at such miracles?


“With the dawn of redeeming grace…”

For, dear ones,

we are the manger

where Christ is reborn

in each of us.

We are the wondering shepherds

in awe of such incredible

light and glory.

We are Mary and Joseph,

not capable of understanding

why such marvelous and

precious Life

has come through us

into the world.

We are the wise men and women

who have traveled

far and long,

following the stars of

heart and soul and imagination—

to this moment,

to this table,

to this circle of love.


“Christ the savior is born, Christ the savior is born…”

Its almost another Christmas,

and we are the

nativity scene,

we are the angels

and the shepherds

and wise ones bearing gifts;

yes, we are—

and the camels and

sheep and lowing cattle;

we are indeed…

and each of us,

a blessed son and daughter of God,

a living Christ

in the original and eternal core of

our existence.


“Sleep…in heavenly peace…”

The magic of Christmas

goes with us

wherever we go,

whatever we do.


is Christmas

and Valentines

and Easter

and Good Friday

and Pentecost,

Halloween and Thanksgiving


every day resides

in all days.


       “Oh come ye, come ye to Bethlehem,”

And we have come,

yes, we will come

again and again and again

to this place,

to this circle of peace

and forgiveness and joy.


“Glory to God in the highest…”

let us adore

the Christ in all humanity.

Let us kneel before one another

and taste the deep Spirit of Life

Who gave us birth,

Who sustains our true Passion,

Who celebrates the Eternal

ever living Essence—

Who and Whose we are.


“Here we come a’wandering…”

Its almost Christmas

every day of our lives.

Its meaning is destined

by our choices…

… always,

whatever the circumstances,

the choice is ours.


December 16, 2015


Hal Edwards



 Without my Shadow,

blinded and unaware

of sheer dynamic forces

that balance opposites,

I would neglect to know

the Other Side of myself.

Without my Shadow,

I would remain

dangerously anxious,

nervously innocent

and unconscious.

Without my Shadow,

I ignore or deny

life’s beneficial interruptions

capable of transforming

fear into love.

Without my Shadow,

I do not realize

or enjoy

truly who and Whose

I already am.

Without my Shadow

I cannot convert my

projections into insight,

my blame into compassion,

my judgments into wisdom.

Without my shadow,

I will mistake the

continuity and magic

of the present moment.

Without my Shadow

I remain


lost and unaware,

meandering through my past,

trifling naively into the future.

Thanks to my Shadow,

new choices and consequences

release impartial

and judicious outcomes

with precision.

Her dark Refining Furnace

melts away

the dross,

purifies all loss—

until each obscure shady secret

kneels in humility

into the wonder

and decontamination

of Love’s Fire.

Thanks to my Shadow,

each transformation,

birthed through

perseverance and suffering

into unknowing,

liberates me

time and time again

into gratefulness—

leaving me

superbly consumed

in muted wonder.

Without my Shadow

I remain armored

with my perfected illusions,

projecting upon others


I dare not acknowledge

in myself.

Without my Shadow

my truth becomes the whole truth,

my partial view the entire landscape,

sanctifying evil itself.

Without my Shadow

I swing at others

and reduce myself.

My Shadow is everything

concealed within my depths

that I demean, envy, worship,

blame, hate, love, resist and deny.

My Shadow is my own

clandestined and rejected

“good and bad”

“right and wrong”

concealed within myself.

My Shadow awaits

my willingness to

love me the way I am,

to grace myself

into humility


grateful awe.

My own Shadow

will be my final judge

or be my saving factor;

its up to me.

My personal Shadow

is the Nazareth

where my Inner Christ lives.

Oh beloved Christ,* my faithful relentless Shadow,

please liberate me from my own perceived goodness


please liberate me from my own perceived badness.

Re-read this poem,

inserting Christ* for Shadow.

Nathanael asked,

“Can any good thing

come out of Nazareth?”

Philip responded,

“Come and see.”

John 1:46

“He was despised and rejected—

a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.

We turned our backs on him

and looked the other way.

He was despised,

and we did not care.”

Isaiah 53:3

To forgive

is to confess and release

all shadows

and expectations

we have placed upon

ourselves and others.

This is our time together

to welcome

and emancipate

every stranger

we have imprisoned within.

Welcome Home,

child of Grace.

Let go of your palsied goodness

and your debilitating darkness

and meet

with us

in the Field of


(*or Buddha, or Chi, Krishna, or Tao, or Great Spirit, or Life Force, etc.)

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda, IL

October 1, 2015





Hello, Kris Kringle,

Miracle on 34th St,

Jingle jingle jingle

New mangers on sale at Macy’s;

jingle jingle jingle

It’s A Wonderful Life

at Disneyland…..

jingle jingle jingle

The best deals await you,

online and

in every


Bla…bla…bla…Jingle Bells, here we come,



Myth and capitalism,

miracle and mirage,

with dreamlike hints of despair;

surprising packages,

promises of joy and depression,

one cannot compare.


Stories and stockings,

lights and delights,

family gatherings


turkey and gravy,

with tears and hugs,

healing old hurts

….and more.


Two worlds collide

in this

massive eclipse,

wealth and poverty

side by side,

one seems steadfast,

almost secure,

the other will ride the tide.


How to retain

our childhood magic

and not fall prey

to delusion;


there’s our hope

and prayer and calling—

an alternative

to greed and exclusion.



refugees wait,

Chicago kills,

Russia and America

waft and wane;

Politicians hold forth,

Popes live and die,

Love beyond hate,

pleasure or pain.


What about this coming Christmas?

You know, the choice is ours.

We can plant that same old garden,

or we

can add new flowers.


Take Love for real

and embrace one another,

look around, find each other

….and share

with our sister and brother.


Let’s donate to Habitat;

give less stuff to each other,

purchase a Heifer,

and feed that hungry mother.


And we shall sing in a circle

as big as our earth


each immigrant

with souls bathed in mirth.


You and I are choosing now how to celebrate our Merry Christmas!


-Hal Edwards

Wauconda, Illinois

September 29, 2015



“Keep your hypothesis open,”

my mentor Morton told me.

He taught me that evil

feeds on ego’s popular illusion:

“My truth is the whole truth.”

Reasonable thinking,

scientific thinking at its best,

does not allow ultimatums

to trash further exploration and

evolution of new truth.

Bonheoffer discovered that truth

is relative;

and Einstein’s

cosmic theory

hinges on relativity.

Gandhi said truth

was the highest good,

and to be a truth-seeker

was the ultimate pathway

of genuine love,

through nonviolent resistance

against all injustice.

Our sacred scriptures

proclaim, “…and the truth

will set you free.”

Explore the truth

without hesitation

wherever you find it

with reasonable thinking

and an open heartedness,

maintaining a humility

that empowers you to

avoid hubris

and laziness.

To maintain your

Soul Freedom

is of the essence in

pursuing meaning and purpose

in all circumstances.

Our inner spirit

is faithful;

your Inner Voice

shall never fail you.

The trickster does come

and life is tested,

while doubt and disbelief

have their tenuous


You shall be refined

by fire without being consumed,

swept into deep waters

without drowning;

you shall rise beyond belief

into knowing,

and you shall stroll


in the Great Furnace

of blissful unknowing.

If you must,

change your friends;

now you must choose

between your wise soul

and bondage to any

external mandate.

If you must,

change your lifestyle,

because you must choose

between synchronicity

and compulsivity.

If you must,

change your attitudes,

because you become

what you desire

you become

what you think.

There is a Force,

Unseen and always seeing;

Unknown and always knowing;

Absent from the mind;

present within the soul.

“Fear not, little flock;

Abba is giving you

the Kingdom of God.

It is already

within you.


Whatever your circumstance,

wake up



surrender to

the truth of Love

and the love of Truth.”

-Hal Edwards

September 27, 2015




Why, I just observed

a stark feeling of shame

sneaking in through my front door,

snaking down the hallway,

slithering momentarily

before disappearing

in the blink of an eye.

Today I know

I am not that shame;

nowadays I observe

those deceptive gaps

when I feel smothered

by this familiar illusion—

an illusion I once thought

to be reality.

How deep are the

origins of my old dictums.

Their reverberations revisited

take me back into my

innocent and naïve years

of childhood.

Always trying harder

to be whatever

I should be, or ought

to be

(god knows

whatever that meant),

I did my best

to look good


do “the right thing,”

lest I loose my


image (mirage?) of success

and well-being.

Sometimes I forget

that I am an Octogenarian.

And I place unnecessary

expectations on myself.

My physical energy

no longer parallels

those foregone younger years;

there is a definite sense

of loss and grief,

(or false guilt?)

which, misunderstood

and unattended consciously,

feigns to become shame.

Embracing my natural

and quite magnanimous

passage into impermanence,

I again embrace

my metamorphosis,

my transformation,

my passage

from youth to old age.

Turning the illusion of shame

into the reality of gratitude

is the meaning of this moment

and the heart of

this little exercise.

It’s a good thing

to wake up


-Hal Edwards


September 24, 2015



I’m now at that wonderful age

when I am finished

with my final colonoscopy

during this lifetime!

The morning started quite well.

I felt calm and quiet and

let any concerns go during

my daily meditation time.

The thought-provoking part was

the day before

during the hours it took

to consume one cup of “preparation”

every ten minutes,

until all four liters

were “spent!”

By midnight

I felt like a thoroughly whooshed


interior washed and vacuumed,

now spick ‘n span,


from a highly proficient

automated carwash!

On a conscious level

I felt very much at ease;

I did not fall asleep

until 4:00,

and I rather suspect now

that it may have had

something to do with

some upcoming adventure.

You reckon so?

Jill and I waited

for my name to be called.

Medicare and insurance card,

with my list of meds and supplements

in hand,

I was greeted with

signatures, more questions and

my special ID arm band.

Finally my magic name

was heard;

a nurse ushered

us through a door

where I received my

appropriate attire.

Southern exposure gown

astutely wrapped around

my naked wrinkles,

I packed my stuff

in a special plastic bag and

walked across the hall

to my personal nurse,

my personal gurney,

and my personal room.

I signed a document

promising not to drive

the remainder of the day,

not to make any hard decisions,

to eat lightly, no work,

and rest.

A hug and kiss from Jill

and I’m off to the races.

“What do you do?” she asked.

“I listen to people,” I told my

magnificent attending nurse.

She had a sense of humor

and a depth of presence

that completely relaxed me

as we relocated into the

Colonoscopy O.R.

Dr. Anesthesiologist

turned me on my side,

gently adjusting my gown

for the upcoming adventure.

We swapped light stories

while nurses prepared my

arm to receive the

Happy Gas.

At the precise moment

I said, “Bye ya’ll. See you later,”

and smiling, everyone said,

“Bye now.”

Now, I’m sure

something must have happened

during my wonderful snooze.

I awoke feeling rested and

happy, remembering nothing.

“Honey, kiss me,” I said,

and a strange voice came back,

“She’ll be here shortly.”

The doc said, “You got

an A-plus!! Congratulations!

“By the way, you look 65,

not 80!”

Well, that was a great way

to wake up!

It was a perfectly warm

almost autumn afternoon,

sections of a few trees

aflame with memorable Fall tint.

We swayed together in our hammock

until my tummy

said otherwise,

so I sat nearby

and we continued

reading aloud from

an old favorite,

C S Lewis’

Great Divorce.

All that was just yesterday.

As I write today

I glance out my

French door window

and see the empty hammock.

The wilting tomato vines

continue to ripen and sweeten

their Brandywine heirlooms.

Another “last rose of summer”


Invisible warm breezes,

unseen, yet totally present,

compose a huge mystical oscillation

of ten thousand trillion swaying leaves.

Yesterday’s visit to Good Shepherd Hospital,

and that sleepless night before,

now linger upon these numinous currents,

colorfully melding into another season

already being born.

Hal Edwards

September 17, 2015




Ah, signs of the seasons
are evident
in our gardens.

are turning brownish black,
about to drop their seeds
for next Spring’s Surprise.

Dahlias, glorious and dazzling,
are also burning and gnarling
in their hallowed impermanence.
Acorn squash,
falling off their umbilical cords,
are ready for the feast table.

Concrete leafy evidence of
Fall’s inevitable surrender
sprinkles our lawn.

Am I ready
to salute our voluptuous harvest
and welcome another Cold Hug?

Hal Edwards, Wauconda, September 10, 2015



We are later loves,

yet, right on time;

our years and tears

of experience, loss and

refined trust

have yearned and earned

this shared wonder.

Impossible to comprehend

and always sought

with integrity,

we have been given

open doors.

It is all about

truthseeking and courage,

healing and growing,

living in the now

and walking faithfully

into the Great Unknown.

Soul open to soul,

eyes that invite eternity

into the heartland

of our intimacy,

this sacred and shared space

basks in gratitude.



I spent a week
in Assisi
with Francis
in August 1982,
celebrating his
800th birthday.

Intoxicated by love,
I wandered through the
colorful display of flowers,
trillions of flowers,
every size and shape,
full and scattered
across several hospitable
Umbrian farmlands
this mythic village.

Wine, cheese and
a loaf of fresh Italian bread
in my knapsack, I
followed my intuition,
not knowing where and why, I
got lost and found again
in a veritable wonderland
of “Little Flowers.”

One day I sat at his tomb,
buried inside tons of cement
beneath the Upper Church
where Napoleon stabled
his horses.

Hundreds of prayer candles
blanketed one corner of the
cave-shaped sanctuary.
I sat motionlessness through
numerous masses
celebrated in many
different languages.

His cushioned sandals,
customized by Clare
to protect the stigmata
in his bleeding feet,
and his legendary robe,
a patchwork made from
swatches from poor friends,
were encased nearby.

Legend, history,
myth and meaning
flooded my psyche and soul.

I climbed nearby
Mount Sabasio ,
found my little sanctuary
near his prayer cell
in the dense forest
and read Kazantzakis’

As I encountered a man
who kissed a leper,
transcending his greatest fear;
I felt his living soul
pulsating through my soul,
calling me deeply
into the truth
of myself.

Riveted by his overwhelming
austerity, love and clarity,
a simple image
remains more vivid
than all the others.

I hiked up
Assisi’s pinnacle to
the ageless Roca,
an ancient Roman Fortress,
still commanding it’s
impressive citadel.

I sat for a long time,
meditating, waiting, taking in
the energy of daunting, massive walls
surrounding a Roman catapult.
Suddenly, I was visited
by a total surprise.

A beautiful, perfectly formed
small yellow flower
commanded my entire attention.
Unmistakably powerful
and powerless,
I witnessed a flower strong enough
to grow out of a rock!

That, it became clear to see,
was what Francis was all about.
His gentle simplicity
and conscious powerlessness
inflames all our dark fears
with the fires of Love.

Hal Edwards
May 15, 2015



I receive unto myself
every right and privilege,
every acknowledgement
of my full membership
into this classy club
among my contemporary

Merely a
kindergartner in this
decade of distinction,
I respect countless initiations
that transported me
into this family
of wrinkles,
inner playfulness,
total trust,
compassionate suffering,
genuine humility,
inclusive forgiveness,
and refined gratitude.

I experience at once
a disposition of determination
and a spirit of new awakenings—
observing, claiming
and celebrating
every critical, painful pathway
I have wisely and stupidly

More often now, I observe,
I am realized by my Self
from a deeper consciousness,
in Love’s omnipresent

Not unlike Rumi,
I more often come into that “field
beyond right or wrong,”
where I receive and redeem
everyone and everything
in creation.

Nineteen years ago
I went on a
Vision Quest,
in the Big Bend Desert.
One of several prerequisites
during my preparation time
was to go into the woods,
get totally lost,
enter my Death Lodge
and bid goodbye
to all those who came
into my presence. Continue reading