Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas in the country

Besides the anticipation and warmth of family gathering what I remember most of those many Christmases in the country was the setting. As gifts were wrapped and distributed between the four houses; as the older generation shared traditions with the younger generation; as the wide-eyed wonder of Santa Claus was not only in the eyes of the children but the adults as well, something else was going on. Mother Nature was at play; providing perfect backdrops-enhancing that wonder all the more.

I can still hear the crunch of the snow underfoot as we'd race down to the creek to skate.In the evening,lying atop that bed of ice, my cousin and I would "talk Christmas" as shimmering stars danced for us in the black-violet sky. The moon-a crystal white in the midst of those gleaming stars-seemed to touch the earth beyond the snow-covered fields glimmering in diamonds. Corn stalks left from the harvest assumed the role of toy soldiers in wait of Santa.
Snow sprayed by the wind from branches of pines and maples made little whirlwinds swirling about the drifts. Tracks of rabbits and field mice told of the little creatures scurrying about as the scent of woodstoves warmed our spitits. Far in the distance the haunting passing of a train whistled through the night going to places we could only dream of.

And on Christmas Eve-we were quite certain we heard the jingling of those famous bells-out in the country-where it was Christmas every day!

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