His little head fell, and he folded his hands on the shopping cart handle. He was so small and so undeserving of such vulgar behavior. The father (or at least I assumed it was the father) kept pushing the cart. His conversation with the mother was calm and decent. It was the child taking the brunt. No one came to his defense.
immy felt a sort of power coming from above. I don’t know what that is. He put his hand to his heart and sat back on the hay. Ever so slowly, his eyes were drawn to the ancient beam that connected one side of the barn to the other. Sitting on the beam directly above the manger was the old barn owl. The heart-shaped white face and the piercing black eyes were looking directly at Jimmy. Time passed, but neither creature dared to move.
Christmas left out all year would numb the magic of the season. The boxes serve to protect the memories in order to revive them again at the same time next year. Old memories are treasured and without fail, new memories are added each time Christmas is un-boxed. I will retrieve the stuffed cat from under the sofa and give baby Jesus some breathing room from the crowd pressed in against him on my coffee table. I will unplug the lights and undecorate the tree, putting each piece in its own box inside the bigger box that houses the memories throughout the next eleven months.
n Iowa, Thanksgiving seems to mark the transition from fall into winter. This year as I’ve watched the trees turn, I’ve also tuned into my heart a
little more. Although I have endured major life changes, I have much to
be thankful for. Even in brokenness, my heart is full.
The ebb and flow—it carries us, heals us, and grounds us. The change of seasons offers a change of perspective, a chance to rest, and an opportunity to start fresh. Even though we change with the seasons, the rhythm of life keeps a steady beat that connects us to our past and propels us toward our future.