Have you ever gazed into a crystal clear frozen pond? The shadows of yesteryear gently reflect memories into the present. The still winter air releases the sounds of the laughter and merry-making of days far and away to ears warmly covered under yarn stitched caps. The snow alighting on the branches of the trees shimmer with the light of the sun creates a snow globe of a wintry wonderland. It is the gaze into the ice mirrors that hold all the peace and joy of all the world; only to be released this one time of the year.
Images of a sleigh gliding over the frozen banks of snow from a warm prairie shanty to the hearth of a country church come into clear view. The mother has donned her finest dress and bonnet, the children snuggle together in the bottom of the sleigh, the father, wrapped in a gifted buffalo blanket, holds the reigns of horse whose nose bears the frost of his labor. The gentle sounds of the bells on the sleigh intermingle with the church bells that ring out breaking the icy air of winter calling all to celebrate the joy of the season. It is the memory of prairie Christmases from years long past.
Visions of the kitchen, long left to the history of the world, merges with the faint scent of gingerbread baking in the oven, fresh breads, cakes, and holiday deserts spread throughout in anticipation of the festivities to come. Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and sisters laugh and sing songs of the season as they work.
The images of the blades of sled runners whizzing down the ice covered highest hill end in the banks of snow at the bottom mingling with the sounds of the laughter of children. Ice ballerinas glide to and fro across the ice pond performing their finest tricks are interrupted by future hockey players chasing a homemade puck.
As the sun begins to sink over the glimmering snow covered horizon a baby is swaddled in blankets and laid in the hay of a manager.
Walking away from the mirrors made of ice, a final glance over my shoulder reveals the peace and comfort for all the year to come. He smiles and steps through the glass as we make our way toward home. Home to the love of family, hope for better days and the faith of the world that is mine.
This holiday season I wish you joy, peace, love and faith. Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year.