Monday, December 12, 2011

unpacking worlds

The Christmas tree is a place where all my worlds converge.  Long forgotten worlds, ones scented with cedar and eggnog and juniper and pine;  I’m always surprised to find them.  I open a box of ornaments and out the years tumble, jumbled together world upon world, as if some unknown weaver has been working to string them together in the dark.  A dough reindeer unrolls and suddenly I’m in bell bottoms, flour in my hair as I bake and paint.  A paper chain plops a blonde haired son back in my lap, with his proud announcement that this is “for you, Mommy!”  There are needlepoint squares made by a relative.  Vintage glass artifacts from my husband’s parents.  Treasured ornaments from my childhood trees:  bells and stars and my favorite blue ball with the painted word “Noel.” 

Things around the tree have come and gone through the years.  Gifts left under the tree have come and gone; the trees themselves have come and gone.  Even the people hanging ornaments have changed.  But I can sit in front of the Christmas tree and, in effect, watch all the phases of my life flash before me.  It is not a bad source for meditation, and certainly it can be an opportunity for prayer.  “Thank You, Lord, for coming.  Thank You for family.  Thank you for everyone I'm remembering; I pray for grace upon them.  I ask for the repose of souls...

"O come O come Emmanuel.  How greatly Your world needs You.  Touch us with Your mercy and Your love....."