Winter Solstice Wonderland

There is no Christmas tree in my house.
My trim is not adorned with lights
Nor do oversized stockings dangle from my mantle.
Holiday hymns do not fill my ears.
No bobbles and trinkets clutter my surroundings.
Colors, sounds, and smells do not bombard my senses.
Not anymore.

That swaddled Jewish baby is no longer innocent.
And the fat bearded elder has lost his charm.
I will pay homage to these gods no longer.

In their absence I feel still,
The stillness that lingers while so much of nature sleeps.
The crispness of cool air.
The crunch of snow.
The snapping of twigs.
The caw of a crow.

Today I watched in awe
As powder drifted down.
It danced circles with the wind and shimmered in the sun
Before coming to graceful rest upon branches, roofs, and fields below.

The dogs bounded down our vacant road.
Diving into the drifts, and swimming through the snow.
I smiled and laughed.
Moist heat erupting
And condensing like smoke.

This year I decided
To celebrate the season anew.
I discovered that experiencing it
Was celebration enough.

James Pate

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