We Put It Away

We put it all away finally. It took three days and I broke yet another ornament doing it but we finally got it all put it away and I miss it already.

Our tree was so nice this year, tall and fragrant, though we never did get many ornaments on the top branches. We weren’t tall enough, not the four-year-old nor the seven-year-old nor the two grown women helping them.

It was beautiful to us and that’s what counts. It kept reminding me of that scene in Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage where the main character flees from the terrible slaughter and enters the hush of the forest, which seems to him a kind of cathedral with its high arching trees. They are fir trees as I have always pictured them, like the little fir tree we had this Christmas.

The  first week it was up,  its fragrance wafted over to you the minute you walked in the room.  Even the second week it still brushed gentle against your hand, soft like the muzzle of a horse. By the third week I had to come very close to get that sweet wild scent, and… Well by the time we took it down yesterday, it was raining its needle down all over us and the two floors it crossed on its way out the door.

That’s when my gaze fell on an ornament I had somehow failed to notice when we put the tree up on December 10th.

Can you read what it says on it, the heart-shaped one that looks like a cookie?

It says “We miss you.” My then-eight-year-old made it for someone who couldn’t be with us one year, and doesn’t it speak to the way I feel today, I who couldn’t wait for all the holiday hub-bub to pass! (Humans, huh?)

And so the holidays ended. The year ended too and a half a second later another year began. Here’s how the sun looked yesterday as it rose over one of my favorite spots on earth courtesy of the Winnipesaukee Weather cam. Beauty before us and beauty behind us. Beauty all around us if we can just  remember to look for it.

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3 thoughts on “We Put It Away

  1. i simply love the beauty of everything being away and moving away from the weight of the holidays upon my shoulders. happy new year, t…we shall make it a beauty. xo

  2. I can’t bear to put it all away at once, so I do it gradually. The dishes and glasses went today…tomorrow the Byers figures and wind-up Christmas toys…then, maybe, my Santa collection from the mantle on Wednesday with all the pictures taken through the years of the kids and grandkids with Santa. The tree comes last…it is truly beautiful and I will miss it’s glowing lights but know it has to come down, too…Happy New Year and a wonderful year of writing and enlightening us, Terry…

    1. Nancy I seem to have saved the answering if this for 12 whole days! Truth is, I wanted to keep reading it in my email inbox, which is where comments to the blog first come. Thanks for this word picture, a study in how to appreciate, and how in turn to let go, and also for your perennial kindness. Happy New Year!

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