By Jonathan McIntosh (Own work) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
As a child I curled up under the Christmas tree to read. Every year I received books as gifts, in addition to some toys. While the shine and glitz of a new toy tended to wear off quickly, the books were forever.
The stories never ended.
I’d hide under the lowest branches of the fake tree my family put up year after year. My grandmother had crocheted a large tree skirt that wrapped around the base and splayed out in a circle on the floor beneath. I’d lay upon it, my book in hand, and read my way to someplace else.
Somewhere quiet and less chaotic than the world I inhabited.
There were moments though when I’d look up, through the branches twinkling with light and adorned with tiny whimsical figures and shiny, gleaming globes, and I’d stare.
Up through those branches I found silence. It waited for me in every tiny nook. I’d hear nothing but the sound of my own breathing and the faint whisper of a magic that only exists in timeless moments. In moments where the real world falls away and one can believe with absolute certainty that something fantastic can happen.
I stared up through the galaxy of stars that blinked through the branches andfelt them upon me. Shifting shades of red and green and blue and gold. Nothing else existed for me then except the lights that danced across my skin and a tree that breathed with possibility.
I curled up, small and silent, with stories dancing through my head and it was a tiny thing, that moment. A young girl in the corner of a silent living room in a small house that stood in a small town on a tiny plot of the earth.
But it was big enough for me. Big enough to transport me. Enormous enough for me to believe that maybe something existed in that tree that I couldn’t see. It felt so magical, like a place where fairies could be found fluttering or tiny mice in clothes bustling about their errands.
There was silence enough beneath the Christmas tree that it became sacred.
Now I wonder if that’s what I’m seeking. Moments, where I believe in something. Something outside of myself and my experience.
A silence. A connection to something that feels big to me.
A something that leaves me believing in the magic of how improbable, yet possible, everything is in this world.
If someone lets go of all else, and believes.