There was a place of quiet peace, a time of unfettered joy, a season of simple pleasure. A clapboard sanctuary surrounded me, yet I was free. Free to savor the season of God’s loving incarnate grace. They called it Christmas.
Memories are fuzzy now. They remain as mere wisps of scenes long past. They are in part solid reality indelibly inscribed in the granite of time. Yet, in part they are but the youthful fantasy of a small southern lad.
A half-century old story fades with the ink of time.
Green boughs sparkled with hanging slivers of silver. Plastic snow covered the hardwood ground below. A soft glow rippled from a rusty gas heater. A pint-sized boy lifted a heavy-laden limb and peered below with mystical anticipation. The day had finally arrived; the red clad package would soon render its contents into eager hands.
Like a wild animal tearing into its prey I soon disemboweled the cardboard treasure chest dumping its contents with a bouncing thud. My eyes enlarged. A six-inch John Deere tractor lay below. Many hours passed while rubber plows tilled wooden gardens accompanied by the holiday tune of “vrooom.” And no batteries were required.
Many children once crawled and toddled in this magical land. I do not know who rewrote the scene; I do not know to what distant shores it has retreated. I only know that scant memories of precious times remain and the images seared deeply in my soul are not complex. They called it Christmas.
Gentry Yeatman is a retired physician from Tacoma, Washington.
Copyright 2006 GW Yeatman. Free to publish, please inform of use.