It is 8:30 AM on Christmas Day and while the rest of the world is waking up and unwrapping presents, Tony and I are walking among frost covered fields and bare branches. It brings a quote by Sheldon Vanauken to mind: “Bare branches against the stars”. A phrase he used to define a moment of beauty, and a moment of beauty is indeed what I find myself in. Yes, it’s quite cold and besides the sound of Tony’s shutter on his Nikon, there is just the shrieks of endless flocks of geese overhead. But, if you listen closely there you will hear the faint hum of “growing things”.*
I wish I could wrap moments like this into a box and present them to others on this December morning, but would they understand it? Would they prefer their mobile phones, and Snap Chat, and flat screen TV’s over the faint hum of growing things?
The brittle blades of green crunch beneath my riding boots as we walk toward the woods. The sun pierces through the atmosphere strong and bright; gold against the morning blue. The sphere blinds and thaws the world around us; penetrating the chilled bark as steam rises off the trees. The sign of life pulsating beneath the layers.
The last time I woke up in Pennsylvania on Christmas morning was fifteen years ago. I left because of a man and I have returned because of a man. Back then my priorities were much different; I was one of those tearing through paper until God removed the layers of bark to reveal a deeper life. The bark has grown back over the years and yet His warmth penetrates, reminding me that I too am thawing.
*a term also used by Sheldon Vanauken 🙂