Monday, December 24, 2007

Waiting

Christmas Eve is my most favorite day of the holiday season and I try to reserve it for simple joys: watching the sun rise at a decent hour and then seeing a dusk come that is like no other time of the year, filling the daylight hours in between with cooking and preparing for tomorrow's gathering with family, visiting with friends and calling on neighbors with homemade cookies, seeing the college kids from the neighborhood at home and so grown and changed from their short time away, the long afternoon church service with candles and bell-ringers.

Once it was dark today I took a break from the kitchen and drove through the downtown to admire the glittery lights and be glad that I wasn't one of those people still out shopping for last-minute gifts. There's been very little in the way of that this year, for whatever reason. Not in the mood mostly, but there's a part of me that feels empty in buying gifts when so many need something that can't be tightly bound with a red or green bow.

I was home in time to hear the sirens far enough away in the distance to know that I hadn't missed Santa on his firetruck prowl through the neighborhood. Funny that I should look forward to that each year like I do, but there's a certain childish eagerness on my part for seeing him arrive with gifts for the kids who live behind us; I can't help but wave as he goes by and remember the sound of sleigh bells from my own childhood. Someone, most probably my brothers, made a point of my hearing them from the front yard bushes before bed on Christmas Eve. Brothers, I think, are one of those gifts that takes years to appreciate or find a use for.

So now I look forward to that particular quiet that comes only after midnight this day, after the preparations are done and there's no traffic on the road, the house dark and quiet but for the lights of the Christmas tree and rivaled only by the shimmer of winter's brightest stars.

- - - - - - - - - - -

"Prayer
is the pathway

Stillness
is the temple

Love
is the offering we bring

Peace
is the gift we are given."

-Joan Walsh Anglund

I wish for you peace and the simple joys that only this day can bring.

12 comments:

RuthieJ said...

Merry Christmas Laura.

Dave said...

Merry Christmas and have a Safe, Happy and Prosperous New Year!

bunnygirl said...

And a peaceful Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Mary said...

Merry Christmas. The Eve is a magical day, isn't it? Even at my ripe age.

z-silverlight said...

Lovely way spend Christmas Eve.

MojoMan said...

What a lovely post, Laura. My wish for the season is that more people find hearts as gentle as yours.

Jayne said...

A peaceful and merry Christmas to you and yours Laura.

Endment said...

Had the camera out trying to capture a photo of the reindeer - missed shucks!
Happy Holiday and many blessings to you and yours

robin andrea said...

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, laura.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Best wishes for the rest of the Holiday Season !!! Great quirky photos back there a post ago!

gardenpath said...

I am 24 hours late, but I love the way you caught what the holiday is supposed to be about. Just lovely.

Sandy

dguzman said...

Merry Christmas, Laura. Looking forward to birding with you again in 2008.