Quiet everyone. Quiet. I have an announcement: The Christmas spirit has struck. Me, at least.
I wait for this moment of seasonal inspiration every year, never sure if it’s going to kick in or not. There have been some years, like when Julee’s mom was dying, that I never felt it. It felt like Christmas had passed me by. There were other years when I was in my twenties that my personal situation was so dreadful I didn’t even know it was Christmas. But most years and at some unpredictable moment I have that sudden swelling of the soul that tells me Christmas is nigh and reminds me what we are truly celebrating.
It happened late last night. Millie and I were driving up from the city to the Berkshires to get the cabin ready for Christmas (Julee had to stay in the city to finish a new CD she’s recording, and she gave us a nice long to-do list that will never get done until Christmas Eve, but I’ll get a respectable jump on it).
We drove up Route 22 through rolling farmlands. What more peaceful sight is there than a farmer’s land in winter? Moonlight sparkled on the snow. We could see the mountains arise before us, great shoulders of stone and forest silhouetted against a deep sapphire sky. There was hardly anyone out on the two-lane highway and I had to resist the urge to speed.
Finally we hit picturesque Great Barrington and the stately old trees lining the main drag were festooned in brilliant lights and all the store windows were gorgeously decorated, even the feed store. A quick right across the Housatonic River and we were on our way up to tiny Monterey.
I hit the dirt drive up to the cabin hard since there was a little snow and prayed my neighbor John drove over and turned the heat on inside. The digital thermostat in the Jeep read 4.
We made it to the top of the drive. I immediately snapped Millie’s electronic collar on her and liberated her from the back. On my command she leapt from the truck and tore off down the yard kicking up a rooster tail of snow in her zigzaggy wake and disappearing toward the trees, barking crazily. Funny, Millie hates riding in cars (that’s another story) but just like that she had gone from a state of dread to a state of joy. If only I could improve a bad attitude instantaneously!
I unloaded our stuff into the mercifully warm house (thanks, John), turned on some lights, started a fire then donned some serious boots to join Millie outside. She was running huge circles in the snow, pausing occasionally to bark, at what I couldn’t tell you. I looked back up the hillside at the house, all ablaze with light and warmth. Thomas Kinkade ain’t got nothin’ on me. I am so wonderfully blessed.
You guessed it. You guessed it. The Christmas spirit had struck.
Do you have the Christmas spirit yet? Tell me how it strikes you. Post below please.