On the edge of this frozen pond
where generations have skated each winter
we huddle in the tiny windowless shack
pulling ice skate laces snug while
seated on a too narrow bench.
Each year the squeaky door hinges
and crunching snow excitedly welcome us
when stepping gingerly towards the farm pond.
We smile at the sign that
it’s cold enough to trust the ice.
Gliding freely from right foot to left
blades softly scrape the hardened white ice.
The lovely sounds gently soften my heart
with a sense of
hushed, unhurried inner healing.
The whoosh of skating sends me
in sync with the pine trees lining the pond
the flowing water beneath the clear ice
azure skies overhead
and invisible angels skating.
Coasting through a figure eight I feel
uplifted as though I’ve done a great and
magnificent figure-skating stunt.
You would have thought I’d caught
air and completed an Axel!
Glorious is the skating flow
being at one with ice and fresh fallen snow.
Feeling like soaring forever while immersed
in Her glorious and
wondrous, dazzling Creation.
Joy to the World!!
Although his year it was too warm to ice skate the week before Christmas, we did our best to preserve some holiday traditions while keeping safe in the year of a pandemic. Instead of setting up our dusty artificial tree, I insisted upon a freshly cut Christmas tree. The tabletop tree was set upon my great-grandmother’s trunk in our dining room. Surely the fragrance of pine branches that hold ornaments from long ago would brighten any wilting spirits. When the lights of blue and green twinkled in the darkness of the early morning while sitting in the holy presence of Jesus, I had to pinch myself! The peaceful feeling overcomes worries and fears.
Our family chorus which usually belts out The Twelve Days of Christmas will be resumed another year. However, we were delighted to visit Jill, a woman who raises sheep and chickens. The smell of the hay in the chicken coop stirred up memories within while preparing our hearts in a real way for Christ in the manger a few days later.
My hope for you is that you found sweetness in memories of Christmases past and also in the Christmas services of this past week. We pray that the knowledge of the Christ’s abiding Spirit within you will sustain you and give you peace.
May we joyfully ring in a New Year with praises for the birth of Jesus, our Messiah!
Rev. Marta Wheeler