What do trailers for Downton Abbey have to do with the holidays?

There it was in my inbox.  An email from MASTERPIECE.  This could only mean one thing: news of Downton Abbey!

 

DowntonAbbeySeason5 www.pbssocal.org
Image credit: www.pbssocal.org

 

With great excitement, I clicked the link in the email right away to watch the preview of the final season that begins in January.

 

 

I scrolled down after I’d finished watching the video and there, among other related videos, was another one labeled, “Downton Abbey 6: UK Trailer.”  So, naturally, I watched.

 

 

And as the teary-eye-inducing trailer came to an end, I was stunned.  Captivated, really, by how a trailer with such a remarkably different feel could be created from the exact same season of the show.

 

The preview that was created for the United states puts its focus on celebration, ceremony, excitement, and a new beginning.  While the trailer intended for the UK features loss, saying goodbye and a season of life coming to an end.

 

In each new beginning something is lost, and each new adventure often comes with a goodbye.  So neither one is the full tale.

 

But still.  The exact same season.  Completely different spin.

 

One could say that our lives are like the season of the show and how we choose to frame them in our minds is like the trailer.  It’s all about which scenes you pick, the angle of the camera, which words the characters say, and what music you choose to play.  And they would be right; how we choose to frame our experiences does hold great power.

 

But there’s another way to look at it that feels more meaningful to me today.  And that is to recognize that real life is not simply made up of sound bites or single glances.  And the trailer isn’t the whole story any more than someone’s Facebook posts give an accurate representation of his or her life.

 

That’s because life itself is more than just a trailer or news feed.

 

Life has more depth.

 

Life is the sum of all of it.

 

And the whole, honest, miserable, and brilliant thing deserves to be honored.

 

So as we find ourselves in this season of beautiful holidays, may we honor everything about our experience.

 

May we honor the warmth of our homes and the abundance that surrounds us.  May we honor the breaths that fill our lungs and the moments of shared laughter and connection with those we love.

 

And in addition, perhaps this year we can also make space to honor the emptiness felt when thinking of those we wish could be at our side, the frustration that arises when things don’t turn out just as we planned, or whatever else finds its way into our lives.

 

Let’s welcome every little bit.  And honor it all.

 

With a deep and thankful breath,

Caitlin

 

 

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