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Looking for Christmas

Rain had fallen for days. Puddles, all over the yard. The days had been dark and cold. I could feel it inside my body.

It made me reflect on the dark days more than 2,000 years ago. The world was not at its finest when baby Jesus came into the world. He had picked the time of Herod, taxes, dark maneuvers.

But there was a Bethlehem star, a stable-place, shepherds, angels, Joseph, Mary, wise men.

Wise men were searching for light, holiness, goodness, the Christ child.

I know I’m not as wise, as good, or as God-like as these, but I know when I need more light.

What I have learned in the past from darkness is that I can dim down like the leaves on the ground. I know about wanting to hide and curl up if I don’t become pro-active and search for light.

* * *

I am headed to a poetry meeting today in town. I settle in the car and turn on Christmas music. Happy music. I sing along.

Smiles pile up, one on top of the other. You understand...I’m alone in the car, right?

Christmas music makes me feel lighter and lucky to be breathing.

One poet brings food to the meeting. We eat and laugh, read poetry, reveal our deeper selves. Light pours into the room as we become vulnerable.

This same light happens when I share with any other soul.

The good stuff.

* * *

I leave the parking lot and head for home. After a mile or so, I begin to look for the holiday decorations I know will be on my left near the highway. No matter which season, someone from the house beyond the pond decorates for the passersby.

There it is.

I see Christmas.

Today my car turns in and I drive back to the house. I have no idea who lives here, but I’m one of the passersby who has loved the light offered to those of us going down the highway. I park in front of the house.

A big dog barks. A woman steps out and calls to the dog.

I greet her and walk up to the porch. I introduce myself and say, “Thank you for your decorations by the highway. I don’t know if you get feedback or not, but I love what you do there. I notice how you change it every season.”

Her name is Becca.

“Well,” she says, “it’s not as much as it usually is.” She explains why.

But you know, whether it’s a little or a lot in her reality, she’s still doing something and giving to those of us who pass by.

It’s light. It’s enough.

I wish I’d thought to tell her that at the time.

It took a little extra effort for me to turn into that driveway and say “thank you” to Becca, but I’m happy I had that interaction.

Only God knows why I did that impulsive act. Maybe because I was grateful for finding light anywhere.

I said goodbye and drove home, feeling like I could fly.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Rain, sunshine, or dark clouds. It may not matter if I am pro-active about looking for Christmas, about seeking Jesus—the gift to the world.

God’s love, God’s light to you,

Pat Durmon

Photo of Christmas décor taken on Hwy 201 South near Mountain Home, Arkansas, December 15, 2018.

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