A song for all the years
“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, the melody would stay in your heart always – a song for all the years.” — Bess Streeter Aldrich
When I was a child, Christmas Eve was the most magical day of the year, the anticipation sweeter than the gifts and feasting and holidays from school that would follow. Throughout my adult years I found, as so many do, that December 24 had increasingly become a day of mixed emotions at best, deep sorrow at worst. But Aldrich is right; the melody stayed in my heart.
Perhaps you are reading this amid the busy preparations for a festive time with family and friends. Your day may be filled with affection, connection, and the sweetness of shared laughter. If so, I rejoice with you. I have known the enchantment of such holiday happiness, and it is like nothing else on this earth.
But you may be facing Christmas with a broken heart, having recently been parted from dear ones through death, estrangement or geographic separation. You may be reeling from having just received a terminal diagnosis, or recovering from life-threatening surgery, or sitting, even as you read this, at the bedside of a family member who is hospitalized.
Perhaps you face financial difficulties due to a loss of employment or unexpected expenses. Or maybe your sadness has no immediate specific cause, yet you feel empty and alone at a time when it seems the entire world is merry.
If you are feeling wistful or forlorn today, I truly sympathize. But listen closely– can you hear the melody, however faint, that is still playing somewhere in your memory? Let’s turn up the volume on that celestial music. Just for today, let its otherworldly message of joy drown out the cacophony of strife, gloom and despair.
I wish you “tidings of comfort and joy” that will wrap in you warmth and wonder.