I love when holidays snuggle up to weekends and you can hit the snooze button on life for an extra day or two. I especially love when some of the people with whom you’ve made holiday memories can stick around a while and savor them with you.
In a holiday full of them, one particular memory stands as a theme.
Having spent Christmas Day in my Christmas jammies, I had not planned to leave the house. But, I also ate a lot, so when Molly suggested an evening walk, I agreed to join her. We ended up having a enchanting time.
An owl greeted us as we admired the City Park Christmas tree, so we spent a little time in our own kind of who-who-whoville, chatting with the friendly fellow we spotted high in a tree near the fountain. There’s something magical and reassuring about an owl’s hoot on a quiet winter night.
We continued on our stroll and, as we climbed the hill near Peabody Park, I noticed a particularly inspiring Christmas light display. I blinked a little to see it more clearly.
“Am I seeing things or do those Christmas lights spell hope?” I asked.
“No, you’re right,” Molly said. “They do.”
I’d like to think we stumbled onto the theme of this year’s Christmas, right outside that unassuming house.
As I thought about that cool owl conversation and the Christmas light display, I remembered the closing lines of my favorite children’s book, Owl Moon.
“When you go owling, you don’t need words, or warm of anything but hope. That’s what Pa says. The kind of hope that flies on silent wings under a shining Owl Moon.”
I hope all of you found some inspiration in your celebrations this year. I hope those who had to celebrate alone never felt lonely and, if you did, that it was temporary and mitigated somewhat by the innovative ways we’ve learned to connect with each other.
I hope the lights we spotted at the top of the hill act as a metaphor for what lies ahead for us all, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, hope for a healthier new year.
I hope you and your family have a very happy New Year.