Thoughts and meanderings from my corner of the state
Three Days After Christmas
I light my little tabletop tree
and the mantel's multicolored string
unwilling to let go these pinpricks
against dark winter morning
Solstice is my Christmas, my world reborn.
Christmas is what was and what might have been. It's the memory of feeling safe and loved when I woke. It's the excitement of waiting at the top of the stairs until Mom called my brother and I down for the start of the big day. It's the wondering what today would have been like had I had my own children — and possibly now grandchildren — to create that cocoon for, to do the baking and gifting and cooking for their memories.
Yet my Catholic roots still tell me that it's the birth of hope.
I love the lights of Christmas that seem to rebel against the encroaching darkness. They tell the night it cannot have the entire clock. Every year it works. Every year the Northern Hemisphere pauses and begins to turn its tilted face to the sun again.
We have three new years each winter. There is the Solstice, the return of the light. There's Christmas, the birth of hope. Then there's the turning of the paper calendar when we can burn the pages of the old year, the scribbled notes on the days faintly visible until it crumbles completely.
Three choices — pick any one you want. It's as if the genie in the lamp is giving you three wishes.
In the stories, the finder of the lamp wishes foolishly, or the genie is a trickster who turns those wishes to evil. The stories try to tell us that we're not meant for such things.
The stories aren't true. We're worthy of our wishes and the gifts that come to us.
Better yet, know that you can save any of those wishes for later in the year when you might need them. They'll work in the long stretch between the return of the light, the birth of hope, and the ashes of the old year scattering in the wind.
Take your time and wish wisely. The genie will wait if you're not ready.