|The Tree The Homeless Man Decorated (2009)|
Christmas. The most haunting time of the year. It cannot be replicated. None of them can copy the others and yet the feeling seems like they do. At Christmas, I remember the little creepy elves my brother and I used to play with inside the tree, much like my son does now. I remember the glare of the twinkling lights outside as they reflected off the snow which always made me wonder how the reflections didn't melt the snow itself. I remember a choir in a packed church singing as bodies clinged to each other as if the ship were sinking. Outside, the snow fell silently but impacted every square inch of my soul. So much life all around me, even as it fell from God to the cold, frozen earth. Something was moving inside and out. I think of walking through the streets, making sure to stay right in the middle of the road and follow the lines as not to make a decision between right or left. I looked into houses and saw families flinging tinsel into the air and onto their trees with Christmas movies playing in the background. Christmas has always reminded me that as bad as the world may get, there is still something inside of everyone that wants to watch the lights dance in reflections off the snow. I remember Christmas 2009 when I went to put a box of food under a tree on a hill a homeless person had decorated for Christmas. I was touched by his desire to continue celebrating. I was wondering if he was lying under that tree reminiscing about his mother's smell when she sang "Silent Night" to him. I was hoping to find him there. He wasn't. I left the bag of things and went home. Two nights later, my brother said goodbye with his eyes. I still see Christmas as warmth. I still believe that people have a sometimes very deep down desire to watch the lights again. So every year, I string mine up and turn them on for them. Maybe they are watching. Maybe they are walking in the middle of the road down my street, mindful to keep to the crack in the middle. Maybe they see my lights and dance with me. Dance with joy. Dance with hope. Maybe for even a minute they consider that the snow falls silently, but fills our hearts. The warmth in here can be shared with (out there). It is hard for them to feel anything but the bite in the air, I know, I've chattered my teeth on the frozen tracks. But sometimes when we reach out our hands and turn on our lights, they decide to dance.
Dance with lights.
Thanks for reading...Z