I pinch the needles, still soft and green. Run my fingers like a comb through strands of silver tinsel clinging to its branches. Pine scent lingers, but the Christmas gifts are gone.
Refrigerator shelves, once crowded with a feast, look bare.
Cookie platter has nothing left but crumbs.
And the living room, where guests sang carols, is filled with empty chairs.
Christmas has come and gone. All gone, like 2012.
A melancholy sigh escapes my lips.
All gone, except the dust and piles of dirty laundry.
Why does the Creche on the mantel suddenly seem out of place? God’s gift to the world is no less real just because it’s New Year’s Day.
Move Baby Jesus to a storage bin, toss the Christmas tree outside. Dust the mantel, vacuum pine needles, put tangled lights into a pile.
Christmas time is gone.
Even the stores have moved on. Their shelves once stocked with candy canes, now display pink heart-shaped candy.
Winter rain will come, perhaps it will even snow.
But today the sun is shining so my dismal mood must go.
Daylight stretches longer, beckoning more warmth.
And dormant bulbs beneath a cold, hard ground, are scheduled to appear when the Groundhog comes to town. Will he see his shadow?
The good Lord only knows.
Till then, I …
Peruse mental snap shots of family far and near; and the extraordinary “in laws” we met two weeks shy of the new year.
I remember forever friends, new friends discovered, and the kindness of strangers who once crossed my path.
A new calendar hangs on my wall, twelve months of the unknown. For example, who knew this time last year, the abundant blessings God had in store? Who could predict ill health, tears wept, and painful losses that made me shout, ‘no more!’
I glance through last year’s journal to read from whence I came. Reminders I can trust the Lord to walk with me through the coming days.
God is present and He loves me…whatever 2013 holds.
“I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.”
Puritan Prayer from The Valley of Vision