In December, the crinkle of antiquarian Christmas music, the bewitching baritone of Nat King Cole, the palliative tenor of Frank Sinatra, tranquilizes the white heat of my temperament. For a fistful of time, maps are no longer luring, with all their inscribed invites to escape; the prominent, primitive recklessness I feel in all other seasons is as quiet as snowfall.
Mainly it's the merry melodies, the impregnating of possibilities. But then there's the shimmer and twinkle of tiny lights, encompassing tinsel and trees, strung like the hopes of humans, brittle bulbs of brightness. The carolers that come in clarity of candlelight; the hallowed hush of the snowdrifts; the flush of the fire; the scent of cinnamon and pine.
The peppermint candlesticks set on windowsills, Christmas films, and Christmas stories, the papered parcels put under the tree, topped with velvet bows. The ethereal echo of the cathedral choir, the Christmas Eve ceremony unfolding under the afghan of winter stars. And from all, comes a contentedness, so tender, that I feel I might cry, might crumble from it all.
I am flecked with flaws, missteps, misgivings, immeasurable idiosyncrasies, irresponsibility; a rebel, and a runner. I have a tongue too hasty; a will that never wafts, even in the whip of the wind. I dream, and I wish, and I hope. I believe.
As intricate, and dissimilar, as we may be, we all need something to believe in. Be it Saint Nicolas, and his sleigh, his fleet of flying reindeer. Be it a king borne in Bethlehem, beneath the heavens, the son of God. Be it good will, good deeds, justice, joy. Be it humanity, or a happily-ever-after. Be it all.
My dear, do not forsake faith, for without it, fear will arise, in its absence, and grow, in its vacant place. When wonder seems to have strayed, search for it beneath the staggering stack of sobriety, brush it off, and tuck it into the enveloping fold of your heart. Believe.
Happy holidays! May your hearts be merry and bright!