I love winter mornings. They are so still. In the absence of bird song , the day is born in silence. Now, the mornings sparkle, for frost covers the territory and any sound at all seems to crack the air. The trees shine their beautiful truth, in the first light. Now they hold no secrets. The older I get, the more I value truth-good or bad -truth liberates the soul. It really does “set one free”, as it is written.
Now the time of Christmas wanes like an old moon. I will celebrate til January 6th, for I love “old Christmas” and somehow commemorating the visit of the wise men , seems a fitting and natural conclusion to such a glorious, time as Christmas. Now, like everyone else, we had a different sort of Christmas, this year. We settled for visits, instead of the usual large gathering, on Christmas night. After the trip to Raleigh, Mama and I spent a day in Elizabeth City with Will, Jenny and my beloved little girls, Brynn and Lyla.
The grandaughters were brimming with anticipation,of Sanats’ visit. Lyla was practicing her best behavior, so that the elves had nothing to tattle about. Mama and I toured their new home. It is a beautiful and sensible home-and within walking distance of the “laughing river”. How grateful I was, to see this blessing for them, first hand. What contentment welled up in my heart and I prayed for the home to be filled with goodness and mirth.
The day passed too quickly and while Brynn dozed in her mothers’ arms, Mama and I headed home.
A few short days later, my sisters and I were at Mamas’ house. We tried as best as could to divert ourselves from the great sorrow of not having Daddy with us. In some way, I had dreaded the affair altogether, Knowing we could not deny, that we all had this grief in common, the prospect of any merriment, seemed impossible . . .but I was wrong. We had a lot more in common, than grief. We had Mama and each other. We had the same elders and shared the same memories. We loved each others’ children . . .and so there was great solace in that.
I spent Christmas eve at Mamas’ house. On Christmas day, Tres, Sarah, Kyle and Christian came. Mama and I had prepared a meal and so this day was much better than Thanksgiving. It was fun cooking together and it was wonderful to wait together, for everyones’ arrival.
Outside, the coldest wind of the year blew, fiercely. The little community was quiet, other than the howling of that wind. Hardly a car drove by, for covid was in the neighborhood. Several families were in quarantine and had to cancel any prospect of celebrating together. A beloved neighbor was fighting for his life . . and losing. His wife was home alone and had to rely on phone calls from the doctors to know anything about her husband. She never got a bit of good news. Each call was worse than the one before it. The final call came on Christmas night. Our dear friend left us the next morning.
This man was but a few years, older than me and every bit as active. In the thirty years, we knew him,no one has ever had a bad thing to say about him. As far we are all concerned, he left with a “clean slate” . . .and that says volumes.
If death, does not make us think about living . .then I suppose nothing will. No matter what you believe happens after death, this life counts. What we do with it matters. In youth, man dreams big and with a lot of determination. We are often convinced then, that we will change this world and therefore leave our mark in some spectacular way. One way or another, we all end up in the same “rat race”. Some acquire more stuff than others . . .some acquire prestige . . some have some sort of power. I guess, it all comes down to whatever mission we select.
Thankfully, circumstances prevail, that allow us to reevaluate and help us define our priorities with a more seasoned precision . We continue making these wonderful discoveries, of who we are. What we truly love is out “front and center”! It comes to light and may even shock us, though it was there all along. . .likewise, our undesirable traits. Suddenly, you at last know yourself and this is the one mission, we all really share -and the one that matters most of all, I think. Our path is sacred, twisted, shadowed and how sweet those patches of light. Ever so often, a truth, our truth, leaps out, shining like a beacon or . . like an awful rock to fall over. Either way, we are the better, for the light-and the rocks, too.
I had several more revelations, during this quiet Christmas. Each one seemed like a Christmas gift, of sorts, but I will write about them at the more timely New year event, when most people do consider such things.
Mama will spend New Year in Raleigh and tomorrow, I leave for Elizabeth City. Brant and Sydney should arrive tomorrow evening. I have never been sentimental about celebrating the new year. . .but I am sentimental about seeing my children and grandchildren. . . after all. they are “my patches of light”.