Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

It's only just topped 20 degrees this snowy, frozen mountain morning. I am a-sit at my fireside desk, considering the end of 2010. The passage of time like this has always seemed to me a cosmic joke, a bittersweet reminder of the nature of being wonderfully human--a treatise on the rare and precious nature of life.

For me, one of the loveliest, and at the same regrettable, aspects of time passing so lightning-fast is not the new wrinkles around my eyes or my daughter morphing into a literal little girl, or even my dog growing more gray about the muzzle: it is, instead, my inability to connect with old friends in a real way.

Certainly, there are the things that separate us: age, different lives and responsibilities, new ideas and cares, state lines, even continents. But though we are no longer children, teenagers--or even tanned, carefree twenty-somethings--what we share are memories of experiences that glitter momentarily in the mind, a Christmas ornament catching the light. And memories of time spent with friends, however ephemeral, cannot be lost no matter how old we grow or how much we change.


For My Friends at Christmastime

I miss you.
I miss the days spent lakeside, fireside, schoolside--
the quick flash of laughter, the raucous freedom of being wild,
the stories and the trust and the secrets.
Know that if you wonder on me, I wonder on you--
that ours is a snow globe shaken.