Musings at Christmas

this time of year sometimes ushers in nostalgia…that lamppost with the flickering light bulb…while we are stuck inside in the midst of a snowstorm lasting days. the last wild wind whirled in about six inches of the fine, fluffy stuff, outside my foggy door, while i was sleeping off a Christmas Eve feast of Hershey’s finest.

in the evening of the blessed day, in the fine tradition of my economically depressed descendants, I whipped up a feast of potatoes and baked fish for the fete of the holy night…and sat down to enjoy the sounds of silence, and the occasional settling of the old arthritic house.

it must have been the same in years prior….though their potatoes knew the pungent turf fire, and mine were a mere mixture of the boiled spud and a slathering of butter. fish would have been fresh, while mine were as frozen as a chunk of Antarctica before the scorching heat of an oven made them palatable.

still, a kindred fire burned within my heart. i had walked some of the same earth, through some of the same space, though today i was far from them, and farther from that space.

so…as it was that i was pondering upon these things, the world outside my window settled more softly in my mind. three days stuck inside a house with two bags of frozen fish, several potatoes, and enough orange juice for a shipload of scurvy-mad sailors, is certainly not a disappointment. i had three lights, a row of good books to read, and heat- though not a warm turf fire- in my living room, and a comfortable chair to settle into while waiting for the sun to melt the snows.

sure, i still might prefer the turf fire over my shiny oven. i still might prefer the wait, as i was telling stories of tales of long ago to my loved ones gathered around the fire. i still might prefer the aroma of the iron kettle baking, the peat smoke rising. and i still might even prefer the old wooden chair by the fire…for awhile.

but after a time i would long for the comfortable…for the present, because wherever i am, wherever you are, is always the present, and we belonged to that, no matter how much we think of the past.

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