Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dark Twinkling Peace

Have you ever had a day where everything goes right; when you feel as though your stars are aligned with the correct gas pumps or your karma is dancing with your aura and sending rays of sunshine to warm your heart?

Today I dressed in holiday finery and scampered to work in a jolly mood. My co-workers gathered at the coffee pots and eyed me askance. “Why the heck are you all dressed up?” one of them grumbled as she filled her cup with the fragrant brew.

I smiled. “I’m leaving early.”


“I’m going to my mother’s Christmas concert.”

She laughed. “You mean your child’s concert?”

“No, I mean my mother’s. She joined the senior chorus and their concert is this afternoon.”

She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “You really never do anything the way normal people do, do you?”

I’m pretty sure it was admiration in her voice. All last week people were coming in late, leaving early, or taking long lunches to attend their children’s concerts. Hey, I attended my daughter’s belly dance program on Halloween, so now it was time to attend my mother’s program at Christmas.

And it was lovely. My father sat on one side and the woman who drove the bus from the retirement center sat on the other. Directly in front of me several white haired people sat on chairs or wheelchairs. Occasional whiffs of Eucalyptus or menthol blended with the scent of brewing decaf coffee. The chorus filed in and sang cheery Christmas songs and sentimental ballads. There were solos and duets and quartets. One man began to sing “Oh Holy Night.” The crowd fell silent. He was so good even the squeaky feedback from hearing aids died down.

After the concert I took my parents out for coffee and we chatted until it was time to take them back to the retirement center. When they realized it would be rush hour in Portland, they invited me to have dinner with them. I accepted. It is an hour’s drive in the best of circumstances. It can be a two hour drive if the traffic is bad. So, while we waited for the dinner bell, my father dug out his harmonica and gave me a private holiday concert of his own. How lucky to have two gifted parents.

By the time I left, my car had frost on the roof. I cranked up the heater and pushed the pedal to the floor, roaring home in just an hour and twenty minutes. As the tires crackled along the gravel road, lights twinkled in an inky black sky, with only a sliver of a moon to light the land. I pulled into my garage and heaved open the door, testing the air. Warm. About 34 degrees. I picked my way up to the top of the driveway, listening for any growling and baying wildlife and tipped my head back.

What is it about looking up at the vast night sky with the glittering of thousands of stars that fills one with wonder and joy? I searched the sky for the big dipper and for Orion. I’ve been in love with Orion since college. They weren’t there. At some point I wished someone knowledgeable stood next to me so I could ask if that was the Milky Way or if that group over there formed the heart of Taurus.

What would it have been like to be a shepherd and see a star shining in the east beyond them far?

I stood in the dark until my teeth began to chatter. “Thanks,” I whispered, “for this day of happy peace and wondrous beauty.”

Merry Christmas to you and may you find peace and beauty wherever you are in the world. May you find yourself with more good days than bad.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Bless you all.


  1. What an awesome post, Melanie. I've been having such a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit this year. A little "can't see the forest for the Tree's" Thanks for the reminder: Peace not chaos. Happy not grumpy.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!!

  2. SingleDatingMommy,

    Thanks so much! Although we've never met, I DO feel as though we are friends. I cherish that. Happy Christmas to you and Q, and thanks for being "you" because you are tremendous.

  3. Merry Christmas, my friend!

  4. Merry Christmas Kathy, my bestest college friend. And Jerry, too. Love you both.

  5. Merry Christmas, Melly! I love the night sky also...usually fills me with a sense of wonder. Thanks for the post and please tell Auntie Lu and Uncle Mike Merriest of Christmases!

  6. Merry Christmas to my bestest cousins in Florida. Give my love to Sheila and Danny and your families.

    It would be a lot more fun to see the night sky in Florida temperatures, methinks.

  7. thanks for taking me to Mom's holiday concert and then Dad's private concert. I'm glad you get to enjoy those now.
    Merry Christmas and tons of love.
    Oh, I just found a great photo of you and Casey that I put up as desktop background on my newly refurbished with windows 7 computer!

  8. Merry Christmas to my favorite sister who lives in Vermont. Give my love to Denny & Casey. And hit the delete button on that photo. Thanks for all the great comments. Besides being a fabulous artist, you are such a wit.

  9. You have a great attitude. I'm glad you had a Merry Christmas. :)

  10. M. Gray

    Thank you so much for the compliment and for making a comment. It made me smile. I hope your Christmas has been wonderful.

  11. Thank you for your beautifully crafted stories. You are a very gifted writer and I am blessed to call you friend :-)

  12. The First Carol,

    My writing is best when I have your critique. Thanks for all your help and advice.


Comments are great fun. Really. I love them. Except from the bots that have found my blog. I'm enabling the word verification to block them. Sorry.