Magical Ornaments

Magical ornaments hang on my tree. They have properties like no others, each with a charm all their own.

The butterfly near the top spreads its wings to fly me back to the time when a single mother and her three young girls headed North on a road trip up the California Coast. On that very day she fulfilled her dream of visiting the place where hordes of Monarch butterflies annually congregated en masse. She had wanted her girls to experience the magnificent sight of thousands upon thousands of pairs of colorful fluttering wings gathered together all in one place. Naturally, uncoerced, no assistance from mankind. It was a wonder! Though she’s been gone for some years now, still the memory of her creative spirit is stirred by the motionless Monarch on my tree.

Gazing next upon the homemade salt dough reindeer, strung on a humble strand of yarn, without closing my eyes I’m once again there in a tiny woodland town in Oregon. A 20 year old newlywed happily creating a little holiday cheer on no budget to speak of while the hubs worked the swing shift at the local lumber mill.

Then next the sparkling Waterford crystal ornament transports me far and away, years after that first Oregon Christmas. Out of the USA, off to Ireland for a getaway with those who knew that a temporary escape, a change of scenery might ease the deeply troubled waters that come with the end of a marriage. Castle ruins and wooly bleating sheep on an isolated country road were perhaps quite in order under the circumstances.

A dapper stuffed fox, a ruby red orb, oh, and the American flag ornament in the shape of a heart, made by a friend who left this earth too soon. These remind me just how fleeting life is, how someone so alive can leave so quickly, so unexpectedly.

Then, in a twinkling, the star on the top carries me off to a desolate, rock strewn hillside outside of Bethlehem. Just a handful of years ago on the trip of a lifetime with a group of adventurous friends. We envisioned a young couple, she being nine months along, traveling this same rugged countryside on the back of a donkey ~ looking in vain for a resting place for the night. All of it now reminding me that a great shining star in the sky led three foreign kings to the brightest Light the world has ever known.

Magical ornaments? Perhaps they are. Our own personal memories seem to possess a near mystical ability to transport us (if only in our hearts and minds) back to places we have been and to people we have loved. That, my friends, is a wonder!

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