Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We have this hope

I don’t know why it’s been so hard to take down the tree this year. I feel sloppy and sentimental about it. This Fraser fir is still fresh and fragrant. A couple times a day, on my way past carrying laundry, collecting the mail, answering the phone, I pause, bend close, breathe deep. On its way to death it still makes oxygen. The lights, the old kind, are richly colored with a smattering of ancient bubble lights quietly glowing among them moving their liquid flames. Only well-loved ornaments hang on the branches. None are ugly or meaningless. Those were banished to stay in the box. Maybe its attraction is the metaphor of inner life we bear. We hope for. We find stray evidences of. We dream of. Outside it’s cold, miserable, gray, freezing rain on top of snow. The wind shifts to the north and the temp drops to zero. The weather is trying to kill us. And would if we were careless. But here is a piece of beauty where we warm ourselves. We eat a Clementine tangerine, a tiny shortbread cookie, and drink a cup of mint tea from a mug with a pleasant thumb rest that is smooth as a worry stone. I’ll wrap the crèche and put away the candles tonight.


Anonymous said...

I'm packing ornaments away now too. It is one of the saddest tasks I do each year...or most sentimental, at least.
Debbie F

kate o. said...

i applaud your determination to put up only meaningful ornaments. but why is it so hard just to toss the ugly/unmeaningful ones? even though we banish those to the back of the tree i still know they are there...next year i'll follow your lead.

the house always feels a bit bare once everything is packed away, doesn't it?

Margie Haack said...

I wonder if it's sad, leaving Advent behind, moving into lent, facing Jerusalem and all that means? Again, metaphor for life.
And I agree, Kate, just because we don't like them? It seems a shame to get rid of them. But this year, I'm determined. Salvation Army?

jenni said...

Beautiful writing, Margie. I had bubble lights as a kid - I miss those! You know, I have a bipolar reaction to taking down our tree and things. On the one hand, I'm ready to put away the pretty Christmas clutter and simplify, but on the other hand, then our house seems empty and forlorn. Can't explain it; I'm just mixed-up, I guess.