“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most
If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and
address yourself to the task of behaving better next time.
On no account brood over your wrongdoing.
Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
(you can’t even tell, I don’t think / Julie Cook / 2019)
Well, guilt is a powerful tool.
At last, my moment of weakness arrived…so I must confess…
I have relented.
I didn’t lie to you.
My intention was certainly a BIG no to this year’s tree…
there were those faces, those words, those insistent voices.
It was one of those things, as I started the day, that I had not even contemplated.
It never crossed my mind that I’d be doing “this” for the remainder of the day,
well past dark.
Yet I had gotten plenty of proddings from those both near and far…
And I suppose it was indeed a sense of something missing, as I’d peer over to an empty
spot that was the ghost space of Christmas trees past, that pushed me this morning.
I marched up to that dreaded closest and pulled out that dreaded tub of
broken angels and tiny little nutcrackers.
Old ornaments of all the Christmases past.
I pulled out my various glues and got comfortable at the kitchen table.
I sorted through survivors and the debris.
I next text my husband’s friend, unbeknownst to my husband, and asked if he could
come by sometime today in order to help my husband haul up ‘that tree’ from the
confines of the basement.
He giddily text back a triumphant “YES!”
Now I know I told you that I did manage to put up the outside lights.
That was an all-day affair on the coldest day of the year thus far.
All by myself.
The neighbors have always guilted me with that as well as they would go into
my husband’s business asking when were the lights going up.
What is it with people and the lights????
I had rationalized that if the outside of my world could appear as if Christmas
was alive and well,
no one would be the wiser to what was missing on the inside.
But yet, there were a few who were the wiser.
And yes…even I was wiser.
Be they here at home or now in their own home, I think it’s the comfort of knowing
“it’s” still there.
That home is still home.
And that all is right in the world of “home” is what truly matters.
“It” is always blessedly there whether we are, or they are, here or not…
It’s that sense that life is as it should be…carrying on as if everything is
forever a constant.
The constant of the happy warm memories of what was.
Forget the bad and painful.
Forget the negative or even the current.
It is to the warmth of fond memories that the heart of a child,
now locked deep inside an adult, runs to.
There is a sense of permanence, of rooting and of anchoring found in those types
The true essence of how we came to be who we are…for good or for bad.
For it is of the kinder memories we cling to of how we came to be.
We seem to need them in order to be reminded of them.
And so today became the day that I gave up or rather gave in.
Today, the warmth of Christmas came home…
whether anyone is here to see it or not.
Christmas comes and they will always know.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,