Do you know what the word “Christmas” or old French “Noel” means? Well, the latter comes from the Greek neos helios meaning “new sun”. Isn’t it wonderful to become aware of this, at a time when we’ll soon start illuminating our homes and cities with a thousand lights, at a specific time also when, with winter approaching, we express the wish to revive our inner flame.

As for me, beyond the deep meaning of this “new sun” at this time of year, I cannot help thinking about the stones, not necessarily those beautiful polished stones or glittering crystals which catch our eye in shop windows, but the simple stones found on the edge of paths, in the bed of streams or even in a corner of our garden.

Why? Because they make me think of ourselves. They seem to have nothing special and yet… yet they have a secret to reveal, which is precisely awaiting the sun!

When I was a child, I used to break pebbles with my father’s hammer. Today on the mountain trails, I still cannot help picking up pieces of those rocks that crumble between my fingers as I try and separate their strata.

It is the same phenomenon that keeps happening, you see! Whenever a stone breaks and opens up, something amazing happens and I suddenly realize that the heart of the stone I have just opened and which has crumbled in my hands, has just seen the light of the sun for the first time in billions of years. In a split second, I have become Life’s instrument, the initiator of a small part of the mineral universe.

I contemplate it: its microscopic crystals are twinkling and I find it magical to be the first one to be able to look into the core of a material in a world that was still asleep. I have stimulated the stone and jostled an obscure piece of infinity that was waiting… and the sun is now penetrating it.

In those enjoyable and moving moments, I see us humans like those pieces of rock, now polished, now broken by our existence and time passing by, until Life breaks our shell and our resistance open, exposing the depths of our being.

I see it more and more clearly: what sometimes mercilessly places us between the anvil and the hammer really serves no other purpose than filling us with the rays of a new sun, that is, the premises of a new vision of ourselves and our horizons.

Such as little shapeless stones, pebbles rolled by the waves or mysterious geodes, we are all awaiting the transformation that will make our hearts pulsate differently…

So can the already approaching Christmas be a true one for our soul? Yes, I think it is possible and that is what I earnestly wish for all of us. The only problem is just… the number of hammer strokes!

Daniel Meurois