I put up four little trees, not real ones, but ones
with tiny flickering white lights. I placed two,
each one in a planter, and two side by side
in the same. I pulled down branches, fluffed them.
Sitting for a year in the basement crawlspace
waiting for purpose once more withered
their look. It was cold. An arctic chill swooped
down quickly this day. The morning was greeted
by a blazing sunrise of butter yellow melting into
neon orange, then ruby reaching it’s fingers into
royal purple. That’s the way to start a new
year, this first day of Advent, in a blaze of Light.
But icy cold haze rolled over us. Fog rarely seen
hid the park leaving only a picnic house with its
white painted beams glowing in ghostly
cover. My fingers stiffened bending the wire
branches feigning to be pine. My slippers
absentmindedly chosen not for weather
but for convenience did not keep frozen air
from numbing the tips of my toes. How do
those who don’t know this is the first day of
Advent, those on park benches and under
bridges, live in tandem with this cold? I finish
stepping back into the warm breath of my
kitchen to gaze out at my handiwork for
another season. Lights twinkle and words
from today’s homily pass my way once more.
Stay awake, be aware. My stiffened fingers
begin to curl smoothly again as I embrace a
lusty mug of coffee. I wait, aware of chill that
stiffens and the gift of light and warmth I have
been afforded this Advent, the first day of the year.