Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Hidden Box Under the Christmas Tree

There's that little kid in all of us, sitting under the Christmas tree. Everybody has opened up all their presents, and the one thing you wanted the most wasn't there. You really expected it. You were led to believe that it would be there. You look and look, but nothing seems to be left under the tree. You keep looking. Nobody else is watching anymore. The living room is quiet except for the TV, telling about everyone else getting what they wanted.

This morning was like that. The weatherman promised snow. I left the outside deck lights on all night long, and periodically I'd get up and look to see if it had started yet. No snow. I'd go out on the deck and peek. No snow under the trees. I'd glance up into the branches. Nope. Nothing. First thing this morning I checked the digital readout on the temperature gauge:  32°.  I turned the news on and started watching all the happy people in Colorado out playing in the snow. Newscasters were doing their man in the street interviews, and people were smiling, big fat snow flakes swirling around. I felt that inner child sitting under my emotional tree, struggling to be happy with what I'd gotten, and not grieve for what I had wanted.

Dressing in my snow coat and hat, but sockless and in my sandals, since there was, after all, no snow, I wandered out to enjoy the view from my deck. That was, after all, what I do have every day. I was just really starting to cheer up, breathing deeply and feeling that inner peace that always seems to find me in my woods, when the first flakes started drifting down. I went from peaceful to joyful faster than a child finding that one last present with their name on it, lost behind the far branches of the Christmas tree, and discovering the much desired gift inside. Thank you, Lord.

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