Light #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

It was just after the first real snow of the year. A couple of wet inches, which might be gone by noon or may last all winter, greeted us.  It sure was pertty, that untracked white. I smiled at the sight, though dreaded the cold winter ahead.

A chill ran through my bones as I thought of last winter.  Not everyone lives through winter, see? At least not out beyond the frontier. Yeah, it was pertty an’ all, and I was as happy as the others, but…

“I say winter is here, no matter the calendar tells us. Let’s get our tree today,” Pa said as we stood around gaping the changed world.

The young‘nes whooped.

My mind went back to that cold, earthen mound.

“Oh, what fer?” I asked.

I remembered Christmas in Illinois and the days we actually had real gifts.  Now it was all just stuff Pa made and all. The young‘nes didn’t know no better. And this year, of all years…

Pa frowned his earth stopping frown.

“Toby, you’ll know better.  We will celebrate the Christ child just like them in the city.” His voice change to a whisper. “Just like your Ma always did.”

I dropped my head and looked at my feet. He just let out his “hurmph” and headed out for out special tree.

I followed the others into the woods, but soon went my own way.

I was about to turn back and find the others when I saw it, like an angel stepping into the light.

For a moment I thought of Ma and the rock hard, cold ground I had to dig last winter. Pa said she was an angel now.

I followed the light and found that it wasn’t an angel, but a small pine, covered in sparkling snow, like a queen robed in diamonds.

I was struck by the beauty. This royal tree couldn’t come to our small, dirt-floored cabin.  It weren’t fitten.

But then in the light I did see Ma in that tree.  It was meant to be ours.  Didn’t we deserve a visit by the angels this Christmas?

“Pa!”

Silence.

I called louder, “Pa!”

“What is it now, Toby?” I could hear him crunching through the snow to reach me.

“I think I found our tree.”

He frowned at me as he emerged from the woods, and followed my finger.  His face softened into a smile. There was a tear onn his stony face. Did he see what I saw?

That was the year we brought the light into our cabin. Although there were no gifts under the tree, the tree itself was a gift. Later, it gave us the gifts of warmth and light, burning with the most fragrant scent imaginable.

Ma might have been gone, but she was with us one more Christmas in that tree, bringing light to our dreary lives once again.

***

Yes, I am on a blogging break, but I had to write a story :)  And, yes, a little early for Christmas…  This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge.  Her photo is at the top of the page and her key word the week was “light“.

37 thoughts on “Light #writephoto

  1. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Light #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  2. Pingback: Light ~ Trent P. McDonald #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yesterday was just horrid. I hate being stuck inside all day. I tried to take a walk, but, despite winter rain gear, was soaked in 5 minutes. Yuck. Snow is a little better, but I do not want a bitter cold winter either!

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      1. Prior...

        Well just got back from the mall (met a friend there) and I am officially in the mood for xmas – the music and decor –
        But I also know from experience to go slow
        / one year we put up lights and hike stuff before thanks giving and by December 26th we were taking it down as “done”
        So if we wait till after thanksgiving we can make it New Years – do you guys put up a tree and lights?

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          lol, nothing like a mall trip to ignite the festive spirit ;) I get it about starting too early. In recent years it is mostly just a tree and a few random decorations. I have been thinking of those battery powered single “candles” for the front windows, but haven’t done it yet. Perhaps I’ll do that at the new house on the Cape. Right now our house is so cluttered that any decorations would be just one more thing in the way, though we always make sure we clean one room for the “Christmas” room and tree.

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          1. Prior...

            well need to preface that it was not really the shopping that sparked my mood – it was the decor and the music – but I did see a few folks that I ached for. Like these two girls that had makeup caked on and were wearing name brands and one was carrying a bunch of bags with her shopping booty – felt so much consumerism and shallowness – but hey – also know not to judge a book by its cover – but we know Americans do like to shop – ! and then all that consumerism that takes place at xmas – I am reading a book from “set Godin” have you heard of him? well just read a cool part about gifts and giving —
            anyhow, good idea to have a room designated for the tree and decor…. I bet it feels special to go in and out of when it is set up …

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              About shopping vs. decoration, I know, I just liked teasing a little ;) There is an issue with too much commercialism, but on the other hand, a big chunk of our economy is consumer spending, and a huge part of that spending occurs in November and December… Originally, Black Friday was named that because it was when the stores finally went into the black for the year. Anyway, yeah, it is nice to have a special place to celebrate :)

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              1. Prior...

                and the teasing was super fun!
                and you are right about the overall economy perks – even though parts of it still sickens me. Like my husband was just at a “tax place” (won’t say the name but it is a popular tax prep chain) and he was there because my FIL had some problems from years ago and just let it go – wtf – either way – my hubs is finally getting it worked out (they found the issue) – and so when my hubs went to drop it off – he said there was a line out the door.
                and then asked me if I knew why – cos it sure is not tax season.
                I did not know – but then he said that place gives folks ‘advances’ on next year’s tax returns so they can shop for xmas. ugh… whatever – I guess we need to buy “stuff”but the pressure with getting it at the holidays is way off balance and I hate to see folks anxious, depressed, getting stupid debt (cos not all debt is bad) etc.

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                  1. Prior...

                    that sounds like you have a nice balance – I like the way we do it ’round here too –
                    and wishing you a nice Thakngsiving too – although I might be by your blog before then – but now we have the holiday wishes covered for this week :) ha

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