For Christmas, here is that blast from the past. (I have edited it down from the original.)
Something is calling me. I pull the covers off and get out of bed. It feels good to get out of the blanketed cocoon; my bones are restless. My mind is too. I know I must answer this calling, this tugging at my gut. I grab my journal and leave my room. I move through the thick silence that envelops the house. My senses are heightened. I hear a hum as the refrigerator kicks on, and I see the turning pages of a magazine as the heat hits it from the vent.
Another world exists in houses at night. I feel like an intruder in the darkness. No longer do the furniture pieces seem like mine. They look bigger, and they seem to have distinctive personalities and characters about them. They wonder why I'm awake and moving through their territory. What usually seems so comfortable to me during the day feels awkward now: corners hold mysterious secrets, the walls watch me, and every sound or move I make seems amplified. A part of Adrienne Rich's poem, "Song," enters my mind, "If I'm lonely it must be the loneliness...of being the one awake in a house wrapped in sleep."
I set out to do what I was going to do. I push the plug into the wall socket and stand back to admire a rare from of beauty. The Christmas tree lights illuminate the room, and they strike a chord in me. The tree stands tall and majestic in the corner of the room. The lights shine like they are about to sing. The little glass lights contain such life. Strength lives in their fragility. I sit on the couch and draw my knees up to my chin, gazing at the brilliance of the lighted tree. All of us, the furniture and I , bask in its radiance. I am hoping that the tree lights will bring a little beauty to my soul-searching nights, and they have.
I get up. I want a closer look. I position myself lying under the tree on my back. My legs stick out from underneath it like a mechanic working on a car. I feel the felt of the tree skirt under my head, and the carpet itches the backs of my legs. This must be what my cat sees as he lays under the tree during the day wrapped in slumber. I can understand why my cat bats at the ornaments on the lower branches as I look at the toy soldier that stares ominously down at me.
I see the branches that come out in all directions from the sappy trunk; they seem to go on forever. From this perspective, the tree looks like a giant redwood shooting straight up from the forest floor. The lights sparkle and dazzle my eyes,. I am part of the tree now; I am its root. I listen for it to whisper answers to me, but the lights just smile down, knowing something I don't.
It is time now to go to bed. I feel exhaustion in my limbs. I unplug the cord. As I walk away, I thank the tree for its time. My journal is put away, and as I fall asleep, I vow something to myself, "I will not lose sight of this."
I know now that I meant I would not lose sight of the simple treasures that exist all around us. Keep your eyes and heart open to the beauty in everything.
Have yourself a very Merry Christmas.