You all know how I love spirals – I’ve always seen them as symbols of the ever-changing but ever-present cycle of nature, of life. It wasn’t until after I got my tattoos that I learned such a set of three spirals, arranged triangularly, is an ancient Celtic symbol of nature – earth, water, fire.
Now I come to Morocco and find that the spiral is also an ancient Berber symbol of infinity. It’s everywhere – from carvings to pottery to wall tiles to jewelry, like this pendant I picked up in Marrakesh, my first piece of Moroccan jewelry:
Also no baking cookies with friends, then walking the neighborhood to look at the lights. No helping my niece and nephews draw Christmas cards; no spending the afternoon sprawled on my parents’ sofa after inhaling way, way too much food and so much love. No reminiscing about holidays past … the tree ornaments that used to fascinate us for hours, the ancient Christmas records that were the soundtrack to my childhood festivities.
Christmas eve dinner was a little tagine of cauliflower, tomato and potatoes, scooped up with bread. Plus a little dish of fried zucchini, which I know was placed there because the family has seen how much I love it. Woke this morning on my hard flat mat, three heavy blankets guarding against the morning chill, to the sounds of teenagers rushing to the school across the road rather than rushing to see what Santa left for them.
This weekend I’ll gather with some other Peace Corps volunteers in the area for just some of those traditions – too much food; maybe even a little too much wine; overdose on Christmas movies and music. It will feel like home, and not.