For some reason, I have always placed an almost mystical notion on the idea of a real snowfall on Christmas Day. I suppose because they are so rare for our region. And because snow itself seems to possess such a heavenly quality. The all encompassing quiet that settles over a place when it is covered with snow, is mesmerizing to me. It is like peace takes a physical form and coats the whole world in comfort. As some of you may know, Christmas has a spiritual meaning for me and over the past few years I have fought hard to bring some real feeling back to this holiday so ruined by rampant materialism and greed by so much of our society. I wanted Christmas to come without the help of any packages, boxes or bags, to quote the great Dr. Seuss. That simple childhood story sticks in my mind so every Christmas and I suppose I let myself foolishly be drawn back to the ideas I had as a child about snow and Christmas. See, a good bit of what I witnessed as a child was not exactly happy. Much of it involved other families but still, it was close. As children, we were told Christmas was special; the one time Heaven came to Earth. The one time we could speak face to face with God. In my childish mind I combined that idea with the peace that so naturally comes with snow. If it would snow on Christmas it could blot out all I saw that was hurtful and for a time anyway, the world around me would be at peace, just like the story says. If it snowed, then maybe God was still listening. I know that is all silly but kids imagine lots of things and I was a pro at conjuring any idea that helped me believe my world would get better one day.
As I grew up I abandoned my thoughts of such things, too busy with surviving the real world. Work got in the way anyway. Most of the time I had to work on Christmas Eve and I was too tired to put much thought into anything besides pouring concrete and how much overtime I could work. In the last few years though, I noticed those old thoughts creeping back into my mind. Of course, spending the last three years in my new house, always alone on Christmas, might do that for you. You know, you often question yourself in life, did I make the right decision here or there? Should I have done this or that differently? And I found myself wishing for snow again. What a stupid thing! To think the universe would use it's powers to shower me with this magical process on a particular day. It didn't owe me anything. But the little kid's voice kept whispering....if it would snow on Christmas maybe it would be a sign that I was where I was supposed to be. The peace that the snow would bring would simply be a reflection of my home here. If it would snow on Christmas, then maybe, God had been listening to me all this time after all.
I woke up a few times Christmas Eve night. That happens you know, when you get older. As I tiptoed through the bedroom I would sneak a look outside. The moon was still full enough to cast a good light over the land and I could see that the yard was still barren. In fact, the moon even being able to shed that much light told me that there were few clouds in the sky. Ah well, maybe next year. I snuggled back in beside Jack. At least there was a warm man beside me this night that I actually enjoyed being with. We woke up a little late, maybe around 7:00, the ground still bare, so I promptly set about to make coffee and fix our Christmas breakfast while Jack stoked the fire back up. It was sort of a funny thing then. I looked up through the kitchen windows and suddenly some of the largest snowflakes I've ever seen came tumbling down, blotting out the trees in the distance. I remarked to Jack that it seemed as though it was simply waiting on us to wake up. He agreed. And, even though the air did not feel anywhere cold enough, the snow began to lay. Not just on the deck and the tree limbs, but on the ground and in the garden. It waned on and off after a while but it always came back, harder than before and with those same huge snowflakes. Now, we didn't get near what some of ya'll up north would consider a decent snowfall. I wasn't going to lose my way walking to the wood pile or anything. But it covered the ground and that peace and wonderful quietness descended over my valley and it wrapped me up in it's arms. I had seen a white Christmas.
I believe I wrote a post a couple of Christmas's ago that said I hoped to one day wake up on Christmas morning next to a warm man and receive a gift of a sparkling thing that was not a toilet accessory or a tool of some type. As I sit and type this, I wear a sparkling item around my neck. Something I have rarely ever received. A gift from the warm man I woke up with this morning.
I hope you all had a wonderful day and don't forget; we have eleven more days of Christmas to celebrate! I'll be back tomorrow with the Second Day of Christmas.