Friday, December 25, 2009
By this time on Christmas Day, most of us are home, our obligations met and the stress of the last few weeks are gone.
My own children left around 9 this morning to spend the rest of the holiday with their dad.
I've been to see my parents and my family, and now, I sit in the darkened living room, illuminated by the 50 lights adhered to my 4-foot tree that mysteriously decided to work today.
Peace is with me.
Peach and stillness, and yet, I still dream of Christmases years ago...
My heart, today of all days, longs for them.
My body is here at home, but my heart is within a white, wood-frame house in the town of Greenwood, Louisiana...
Where my cousin, my sister and I will sleep in my grandparent's office.
My cousin, Gary, will, no doubt, sleep on the gold sleeper sofa in the dining room, right there beside the warmest of all heaters ever known.
In the morning, I will, without fail, be the first of the children to awake, and I'll stumble down the hall to find my dad, my MeeMee and my Aunt JoAnn sipping coffee.
I'll stand in front of that space heater, and as I listen to them visit, I will sincerely believe I've never been so warm or safe in all of my life.
And, I'll look over at Gary sleeping and WANT to pull some mischief on him...
I could do all I wanted.
He'd never wake up.
It will never occur to me that Santa always comes to my house a day earlier that he does with all my friends.
It will never occur to me that Santa, with all his Christmas "know how" could find me at my MeeMee's just as easily as he could find me at my own house.
It will never occur to me that one day, 30 some-odd years later, I'll look back on these Christmases and tears will come to my eyes.
It will never occur to me that my life will change more quickly than I am willing and that, one day, I'll be a mother with two children of my own and that this most spectacular time of year will lose its magic...
Until, 30 some-odd years later, and I look back.
Somehow, Christmases spent there meant it was actually CHRISTMAS.
Perhaps it was because I was a child...
Perhaps it was because my grandparents were there...
Perhaps, because, back then, people slowed down a little more...
I don't know the answer to that question.
I just know that as each year passes, I seem to be missing one person that was with me last year.
Just as I know that each year, I've gained at least one more than I had the previous year.
And, friends, such is the beauty and the mystery that is life...
We never know what we really have until it's gone...
And, we never fully appreciate what's coming until we've experienced loss.
But, today, this one day of the year, NOTHING can touch us.
But for today, we are held only by ourselves and what is within.
Just for this one day, we are only reflecting on what lies just beneath our surface.
The outside world is still.
The outside world is calm.
The outside world will give us a Silent Night.