Monday, December 28, 2009

The weather outside is frightful...

Christmas is a warm time of the year. I mean that literally - the fire in our furnace is always stoked high, the candles are lit, the kitchen is full of pots and pans and the oven's set to 400. The living room is crowded with people in their Christmas sweaters, sweating, praying that Matthew doesn't go back down to the basement to toss in another log (and if he does, please let it be some of that halfway rotten walnut but please oh please, not the red elm.) The south door is opened to let gushes of winter wind hiss in, and yet it feels like we're not in a barely-insulated farmhouse in the Midwest but sweltering in Qaddafi's tent. In Libya, not Central Park. And through the windows we see a pale pink sky over top white fields, blue shadows cutting across it in the distance where the trees stand tall. We see it and wonder at the fact that such cold can exist alongside such heat. Just a thin pane of glass between us, separating us from that bone-chilling cold. And as we fill our bellies and put our feet up on boxes waiting to be peeled out of their festive paper, that Christmas hush falls. We suddenly notice that the radio's been on, and we hear the words that are so familiar we often fail to notice them. But tonight we do: Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, 'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels' voices... And my throat feels tight and dry. And my breath catches in my chest, eases out in a low murmur that took too much thought. And I remember that He came. He came to this frozen, dark place. He came to melt our cold hearts. And the dissonance is jarring - God Almighty, here? The light of the world existing alongside such darkness? And it makes no sense at all, and for that, for that I thank Him. I bow my head and let the tears sting in my eyes. And Matthew notices it's getting late and heads down the old lopsided stairs, and the DJ makes some sort of Christmas joke and the next song starts to play. And it's over. Fleeting and gone; a momentary glimpse of something eternal.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good story always brings a tear to the eye...your description of that fleeting moment is so precious and true...


Saleh Sin Barba

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, Jenny...:)

Ginger

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jenny. We need more pauses like that!!! Thank you for another wonderful Christmas in Platteville!
BG

Aunt B said...

...sweet and lovely thoughts, Jenny... quiet and beautiful...

Abby said...

jenny, you are a good writer.

The Goodfellas said...

oh thank you :)

Anonymous said...

so lovely!!!!
-kel