December 25, 2009
“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -Dr. Seuss
For as much as I tried to deny its impending arrival, Christmas arrived right on schedule, without any delays. I fumbled along and retailers almost had me fooled into thinking it had come and gone as they focused eagerly on the future, with promises of great after Christmas sales. A picture painted of what may or may not be, the actual moment seeming an obstacle to overcome. Always before and after with no in between. Just buy, buy, buy! Not wanting to be the Grinch, I joined with the mobs upon occasion and went through the merry motions so tied with the season. I wrapped each present and lovingly set it under the ficus tree. Yes I said ficus, I didn’t have it in me to put up a tree this year. I made it through, though it wasn’t easy, and with the help of family and friends was able to love and fortunate to be loved during this holiday season.
On the eve of Christmas I watched as the clock marked the transition from night to the beginning of the day, and at that stroke of midnight, whispered a Merry Christmas to Cain while wishing what if Christmas could be something more. In the words of Dr. Seuss, what I wished for didn’t come in packages, boxes or bags all tied neatly with ribbons and tags.
Christmas morning came and my world was still and quiet. A peaceful calm was left from the wind that blew last night. As I walked the pathway leading to the barn though, something happened that stopped me abruptly in my tracks. From out of nowhere, on this still morning, the chimes began to sing Cain’s sweet song to the world. I stood listening until they stopped, waiting for a breeze to blow across my face, but it never came.
I took care of the horses for the next half hour, my ears straining to hear the chimes, but they never rang again. I thought to myself of the gift I was given, and at that moment knew Christmas meant something just a little bit more.