When we moved to our new home this summer, I took Maria inside. She had been standing outside for six decades, in an altar in the wall, common in traditional Brabant country houses. She had become eroded and gray. I put her on the mantelpiece above our wood stove, together with a bird’s nest one of my daughters had found.

When I am sitting by the fire, Maria keeps drawing my eyes towards her, she calls me to let her take place inside of me, inside of my body. Welcoming Maria inside lets the cultural concepts and forms melt in the fire of the heart. She has always been there, in all cultures, there is no need to search for her, no need to name her. She is the one who builds the nest, the one who warms the eggs, the one who feeds the baby birds and the one who, at a certain moment, pushes them out of the nest so they realize they can fly.

Maria is the one who moves my blood, the one who breathes me. She is the one who makes my body absorb nourishment, the one who lets the peaceful beat of the earth enter me and relax me when I’m overwhelmed. With her, I feel at ease, warm and fulfilled. She lets me take place in the nest of my body. And she teaches me to fly through the dark blue, starlit sky.

I wish you a nourishing Christmas time in Maria’s nest, with starlit flying dreams at night!