Not A Creature

At 4:30 am on December 26, the only sounds I hear are the ticking of the living room clock and my own beating heart. There’s something purely magical about waking before the sun or before anyone else rises.

I lit a cedar scented candle and was immediately transported to the previous years of searching for the perfect Christmas tree. Sometimes we’d trudge through muddy grounds, other times the dry crunch of icy cold leaves under foot was the only sound as we held our breath in hopes of discovering the perfect tree.

The specifications have tended to change from year to year. There isn’t a fixed ideal for that illusive “dream” tree we’re in search of and that’s the beauty of it. You just know it when you see it. And the incredible sense of silent joy that floods in – that inner welling that comes as a result of momentarily perfect harmony – like a comforting emotional blanket that wraps your soul for a few fleeting moments . . .

All in an almost silent moment on the morning after. Early, before the sun or before anyone else rises. Not a creature was stirring. Just the clock and my heart beat and the memories evoked by that cedar scented candle. Mission accomplished.