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From a Christmas past

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  • From a Christmas past


    WUFF! Not a persistent bark, but a gentle WUFF next to my ear, told me that Gizmo wanted “out”. I propped one sleepy eye open and the red digital clock glared 3:27. This was not to be the start of a good day. Slippers flopping, I followed Giz to the patio door and slid it open.

    As he exited, I was hit not so much with the -15 degree temperature, as I was with the immense silence. A few inches of fresh snow had dampened all the world’s sounds, and a nearly full moon hung lightly above the tree lined western horizon, casting blue tinged shadows on the clean snow.

    Instead of making his usual run, Giz just sat in front of the door. My gaze followed his to two deer that had bedded down near the barn. With their pointed ears, they almost resembled a pair of donkeys.

    The wind had partially opened one of the double doors to the barn. To the left of the doors hung a ceramic Kokopelli, but the snow had morphed his hunched shoulders into flaring wings, and his flute into a trumpet, tinted silver by the moon’s pale glow. On the other side of the door was a stone-cast owl, similarly transformed into a haloed angel ready to announce his tidings. The barn could easily have been a stable, but the doors were not fully opened so I couldn't see inside. Directly over the barn, our North Star, stood alone against the black sky, while across the road behind the barn, the neighbor’s field stretched to the tree line with drifted snow tossed into semblances of lambs. Next to the tree line, the moon’s light, partially blocked by tall pines to the west, cast blue gray shadows against the edge of the open field. In the shadows appeared a man with a hooked staff, standing watch over the sheep.

    I glanced back at Giz, as he stood and shook the snow from his furry little back and at the same time shook the images from my mind. The deer were gone, Kokopelli was back with his flute, the stone cast snowy owl had returned, and the slowly lengthening shadows on the field had erased the sheep and shepherd, leaving his crooked staff as a broken aspen on the tree line. Only the North Star and the silence stood sentinel to an uncanny connection between Bessemer and Bethlehem of two millennium past.

    Perhaps what we see is tempered and directed by what we believe. Someone else may have perceived an entirely different scene in that early morning silence. I know what I believe.

  • #2
    Thanks Al, I enjoyed your telling of your "Moment" as much as you enjoyed the actual "Moment"! Isn't it wonderful what we see when we are attending to our dogs. With me it is the cold silent sky when I walk Nikita, my 4 year old Siberian Husky, after dark. I enjoy searching the sky for constellations and talking to Nikita about our day. Merry Christmas my friends.
    Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.


    • #3
      Thanks AlArchie for sharing your inspirational moment. Isn't it interesting that we find such moments most often in quiet nature rather than the noise of our digital device world.


      • #4
        Thank you for posting AlArchie, sometimes we all need to stop, take a moment to look around us and be aware of the beauty and gifts of life that surround us. Count your blessings each of us and be thankful for each day.



        • #5
          Thank you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


          • #6
            So nice to hear from you Al, and such a wonderful story! Merry Christmas!

            Bob L


            • #7
              Al, thank you for posting this piece again, I was deeply impressed by it the first time I read it and have quoted as much as I remembered to friends on many occasions. I felt that I could feel and see the scene as you described it and admire your ability to let me do so. Thank you again.
              Best wishes to you & yours