image via Pinterest
Today I'm thinking about the Nutcracker. My parents took me when I was little, too little to remember any of the performance. The hush of the theater, my itchy black tights. All the adults in their woolen coats, the bright lights inside, the cold white outside. My dad carrying me to the car when it was over. I'm thinking about his winter coat, the velvety elbow patches. I always had to touch those elbow patches, brushing the grain of the suede back and forth, back and forth. Gramma had a mink coat, soft as silence, soft as heaven, and in its folds were sweet things. Butterscotches and Lifesavers. I spent a lot of my childhood sitting in church in itchy tights, being slipped hard candies to keep me silent.
I would tilt back my head and count the lights.
Today I'm thinking about the Christmas pageants. The brown paper bag that held an orange, a red apple, chewy peppermints.
Today I'm thinking about soft things, things that settle quietly on the soul. Things you might need to learn to live with, that melt away imperceptibility or maybe never. That take time to resolve. Today I want to know how to do it.
I want to know the way to be.
Last night another branch fell on our roof, and today we wake to more snow. When it snows you need to get up early, but you want to sleep late. You stumble around the house and envy hibernating, furry beasts. You think maybe your soul needs what you can't give your body. This quiet. This dark. This stillness.
The thing about snow is that your bed is always calling, but you can't go to it any more than usual.
I'm so grateful to the pagans for their festivals of lights.
I remember that it's always been the same. Our spirits, needing the stillness, but fearing the dark. Millions of souls, millions of years. Waking in darkness.
Searching for light.