On this day, the Eleventh Day of the Season of Christmas (part of the Twelve Days of Christmas), the Pipers were piping! 

I was intrigued by the story of Scottish Infantryman and bagpiper Daniel Laidlaw who became known as the Piper of Loos in the Battle of Loos in 1915 in World War 1.  When he was awarded the Victoria Cross medal for the courage he showed when facing battles, it was said that he was “an exemplar of grace and coolness under fire.

Interesting phrase: “under fire.” 

The Piper of Loos was “under fire.”   Not just him, but we all have experienced being ‘under fire’ in some way, at some time, in our life. 

Many “have been under fire” battling physical fires because of climate change, electrical storms, arsonists or … 

Many “continue to be under fire,” struggling with fires of different kinds … war … physical illness … mental illness … infections … broken relationships … poverty … disability … grief … misogyny … financial instability … addiction … broken relationships …religious … loss …  intolerance … injustice … bigotry … jealousy …

And then there are the “under fire” experiences of “ism’s”: racism …  sexism … classism … ableism … anti-semitism … ageism … heterosexism.  And the list goes on.

And the world has been “under fire” with conflicts in Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere – and then there’s been COVID, RSV and the flu experience. 

As this New Year unfolds and the uncertainty of the world continues, may the Piper of Loos and pipers of this day, offer encouragement to each of us to be “an exemplar of grace and coolness under fire” when we confront our battles. 

Courage is attainable.

Let the piping begin!

Happy Eleventh Day of Christmas!
© June Maffin


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The Season of Christmas (Christmas Day to Epiphany, January 6th), offers a lovely stretch of time to reflect, enjoy, delight in, and consider how we can bring a little bit of Christmas into our life and the lives of others every day.

May the Twelve Days of Christmas be a reminder that Christmas isn’t just “one day” but can continue to be alive in hearts and lives every day – even beyond the Season of Christmas.   🙂

photo of the piper © Jesse Roach  Used by permission