Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas in Nephi

It is quiet here ... The snow is piling up as it get's closer to Christmas. In Nephi their attention is on keeping the highway and the main roads free of snow, when a storm hits. Which is as it should be. Snow drifts and piles into rivers of cold across the frozen asphalt, with worn rivulets from passing cars as they slip and slide through the streets. A slow crunch and blinking lights reflecting off the snow as one slowly drives by my house.

It reminds me of night lit riverboats on the Mississippi. Houses along the street that have holiday lights provide multicolored snow as the snow covering them slowly melts. Our neighbors currently are green and look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book with a Lomax.

Our puppies prance and hop like bunnies in a field of grass. Hop Hop Hop through the snow, their tails wagging and bodies twist as the roll, jump lift and tumble through the depths. They do not seem to be affected by the cold. They only delight in the soft whiteness and toss it in the air.

This year I have found my voice again with my writing. I have started new endeavors for novels. I have written poems again and I am looking forward to spending time with my family this holiday season. I hope they will enjoy Christmas as much as I intend to!!! Our tree is a compilation of metal and glitter, glass and cloth. We have ornaments from Galilee, a carved stable nativity, others of Santa and pictures of our pets. We hang a white stocking on our tree, for Christ.

This sunday I was thinking on how much fun it is for me to give. I love it... however, there are some gifts... that do not come from a store. It is important to recall why... we give at this time. For the child who on that starlit night had no home. Had only hay, and two loving parents and a few animals to watch over him. How poor and lowly... they were, but full of life and joy and love for their newborn son.

Their wonder how as later, shepherds came to visit them and told them of angels. How their hearts must have been full. Even though they lacked for most comforts. We do not even know... the condition of that stable. Was it clean... was it warm... Yet it was that they had. They made do.

God gave us such a great gift on that humble night with one bright star... Our tree has a very pretty star on it. It is covered in glitter, however it only shines brightly when our room is brightly lit. Then it sparkles and glistens. It is very pretty. However I think of it, how on that night so long ago there was a new star to declare his birth, yet many may not have looked upon it, how it may not have seemed unique or special to them... that it dwelt in a darkness that only awareness and holy light could illuminate for those who paid attention. Who listened to angels or viewed the night sky and wondered on it. I imagine this may be why... the shepherds... they saw the star, shepherds often watch the stars to tell direction time of night etc. How they must have known there was a new one in the heavens. How they must have questioned this in their hearts and wondered at the significance of such a thing. Is this why... that those who dared to stop and "see the stars" to really look at them.. to wonder at the beauty... the real true lights of Christmas...

I often think of that couple and the child. I have two wonderful children. Holding them as Infants at Christmas as they slept I have always thought of another mother with another child on that night. This year.. I recall that with a bitter sweetness that time robs us of. It is those still quiet moments I felt connected more... with him and through her. By being a mother myself and realizing that it is the best of all of God's gifts. To have a child.

I have to admit I was a bit envious as I watched my Neice in the arms of her mother as she slept over Thanksgiving. I love the ages they are at now but I ache for the infant... Time marches on and they grow. As our daughter crosses over into adulthood... I am grateful to see the young woman that she is becoming. I know that she too may reflect on this same thing when she becomes a mother later in life. On a young mother, not much older than she is now, that held a special young child in her arms.

So as I wrap ribbons and bows for sweet gifts for families and friends. This year I want to remember that the reason we celebrate this gift of giving celebration is because of two parents, in a stable, with animals and hay, and small little boy that would grow into the son of Man and of God.