Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Crunch-Crunching

I am reminded of the crunch-crunching of hard snow underneath my feet as I make my way to wherever I am going, wearing heavy boots, the ones with furry tops on them. My winter coat is similar in its furry glory; I think that I look like an Eskimo when I pull my hood up over my head (it’ll be several years before I learn the term aboriginal or native people.)

In my mind I can hear the sound of the thin blue piece of plastic that I have dragged along the white streets to the hill. I will soon sit on top of this ‘vehicle,’ place my small hands into the two designated slots and try to go as fast as I can down the hill. The sky is black, the stars are countless, and I can see my breath. I think that it looks like I’m smoking, and that’s so cool.

I am reminded of just how early I would wake up on that morning. There was no going back to sleep, only laying there with my eyes wide open, straining to hear any sound of my parents finally – finally – getting out of bed. It truly was the most wonderful day of the year.

Briefly I remember that thick furry coat again. I can’t be older than 7, and I am on the schoolyard at recess. The girl I had a crush on gives me a kiss on my half-frozen cheek, and I am in heaven. My first reaction, though, is to run.


As. Fast. As. I. Can.

In my mind and with my heart I can remember the Sunday School pageants. The requirements for being a wise man are very few: a bathrobe - a multi-colored striped one, easily borrowed if you didn’t have one, a long stick, and something resembling gold, frankincense, or myrrh. A small blue bottle of Aqua Velva sufficed one year.

I am reminded of that night, those nights. Because before there can be a most wonderful day of the year, there has to be a most wonderful night. The oven has grown cold after warming the cheese and crackers that were enjoyed earlier, only an hour or so after returning from the service. The last piece of chocolate from the advent calendar is hanging there, just waiting to be eaten (or it could be hanging there, just waiting to be ate, I’m not quite sure.) And the lights. The lights on the tree that have been there to open a happy, magical place in my heart for a few weeks now, they are unplugged one last time before the day. All that is left in the house by the lake is stillness. But just behind my eyes lay the dreams. The dreams and the absolutely uncontainable anticipation.

Merry, Merry Christmas, Everybody.