I am five years old and I am forty. Either way, I walk softly across the living room toward the glowing spectacle of our Christmas tree. The lights are beacons to my soul and pull me forever onward. There will be gifts beneath it soon, but I am drawn instead to each tiny decoration hooked upon every limb. A miniature balsa gingerbread house. A snowman holding an umbrella in soft, gloved hands. A golden angel with twin torches. Blown glass candy canes. I am held in rapture by the ancient, spicy scent of pine and reach out for a nearby branch. The soft needles are filled with life and I close my eyes, breathing deeply of the distant forest. At five years old, I know that I will walk back to my room and dig a warm burrow beneath my covers. The night before Christmas will pass quickly and the morning will be filled with enchantment and wonder. At forty, I know that my slumber will be just as profound; I will dream of my own children and their wide eyes when morning breaks. But right now I am floating in awe, held aloft by this green talisman of time and space. I can reach forward and peer with confidence backward. I can live throughout all time in one small moment, the selfless gift of this Douglas fir. And for now, I will not go to sleep. I will stay right here. I will meet myself again and again. And again.
Tags:200 Words for Christmas Eve