24 December 2011

XMas Eve

Christmas Eve. I think Santa Claus is en route from the North Pole and headed out with his big bag of toys to deliver to good girls and boys. Given the state of the economy, I suspect his bag is light this year. In the lane the snow should be glistening but in fact, out here in the Midwest no flakes have fallen and the ground is brown and cold. No one will be building snowmen named Parson Brown out in any meadow. In town the Chinese Restaurants are starting to fill up with Jews with dinner reservations; the movie theaters are popping popcorn to gear up for the rush on Christmas Day. Not a great deal that I want to see.
And on this Christmas Eve the wars rage on and the petty political battles continue. In the dead of the year we light the lights and bring the green into our homes, but the hope for peace remains elusive. Eleanor Roosevelt said that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness, and I suspect that she was right. At such moments I think of Melanie’s song “Candles in the Rain.” She urged, “So raise the candles high/'Cause if you don't we could stay black against the night.” There was a time when I thought that the song referred to Woodstock, but I think she was talking about the March on Washington, the former a symbol meant to define my generation but the latter the event I attended.
I am anxious for the children and the world into which they grow.


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