Another Christmas done. They’ve arced through a continuum of joyous for so many years that I thought such joy would always be mine to a lost wandering through the internal debris of the blast of divorce, hurt to children, loss of a first, dear, unexpected love affair. The landscape was bleak, desolate, incinerated, nothing green, only smoke, small fires, charred and ruined trees, writhing memory, hissing doubt. I thought I would never heal. It was unbearable this time of year. And yet… I’ve slowly created a Christmas I can bear, a Christmas which brings me small joys. I am content, grateful, humbled to have them. I celebrate friendship at lunches and Ann’s wonderful brunch. I go to a play or festive event. I watch my grandchildren at their music pageant. I buy too many gifts. I decorate, for me, not on the scale of my once-upon-a-time life, but on a scale which pleases the girl who thought she’d have what she wanted forever, that there was nothing that could overwhelm her. I cook and serve a homemade dinner, adding fine folks to family so that the ruin of all I once had isn’t the ghost of Christmas past sitting silent and pale and mocking at my dining table. There’s a saying from the Talmud: every blade of grass has an angel bending over it, whispering, grow…grow. Heal is what my angel whispered. Not possible, I thought. Surely when one’s psychic legs are cut out from under you, you never walk again, you always feel the ache of what is no longer there. First I lay weeping. Then I crawled. One day I stood and stumbled forward into my life. Green has reappeared in my once desolate forest, widened, reaches skyward again. I almost dare to hope, to expect, in the wild way I once did. Almost….but not quite.


5 responses to “green

  1. The beauty of your words takes mine and my breath away. I don’t think I can describe with any articulate meaning just how much your words have impacted my love of reading.

    Christmas is so hard for so many people, a time of year when many sink into the deep end of their own personal joy and lose sight that so many others are in an ocean of suffering instead. I said prayers on Christmas Eve and Christmas day for every suffering person in the world. I’m sure for many just getting through this time of year is their own Christmas miracle. This time of year was my Grams’ favourite time. Somehow, I came to feel a bit of joy again when I told myself, I wouldn’t be thinking of her if she weren’t still thinking of me.

  2. Karleen,
    Your beautiful clarity…and words touched me …green…I like that image of life, in spite of all the hurts from Christmas pasts..

  3. Oh my word, what a terribly sad, but beatifully written post. In a way I can relate. My holidays at present aren’t the occasions they were when I was younger and surrounded by my entire family. I miss the huge tree, my grandmother singing, the smells of dinner wafting through the house and all of us kids begging the parents to hurry up and eat, so we could open up presents. And though I can still feel my grandmother with us, it;s just not the same. I’d give anything to have one more Christmas like that. But, we move on and create our own traditions adding a bit of our past with our future.

    Take care Karleen.

  4. You’ve said it all. So beautifully. Again. Lord, you can write.


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