Campers with packs and tents
fade into the white-laden wilderness for several days stay
with unnoticed disturbances of crackling branches
falling from the snow’s weight
and distant rustling of night visitors wandering
among the firs and pines as
darkness makes the snow appear as soft coal
spread across the meandering landscape.
Silence soothes those settled warmly in their tents
listening to nature’s harmony – this peaceful wilderness:
with the slight wind in tandem with the season
lulling these campers into a slumber.
The evening ambles like timeless moments
traversing tranquil minuscule motions of a world
seemingly stirring dismally in insignificant stages of time
(through which millions of living souls rush hurriedly to catch up with the earth’s rotation
lost in the meaninglessness of things
specks strewn on the earth like seeds spread on hard soil
falling and eventually dying and lost in memory
overcome by weeds and brevity)
traveling ever so slowly toward another day, one like no other.
They desire this rich wilderness – a divine garden –
this Christmas Eve night of nights silent in its advent
perhaps to glimpse a dazzling star
This night hovers in expectation –
a spiritual moment –
brooding amid profound shadows
frozen in stillness and space
standing guard watching
until light shines through darkness
The fresh scents of sugar and ponderosa pines
rise heavenward like gifts of sweet smelling aromas
traveling on crisp and pure air
that leaves a slight refreshing chill –
like the first breath rising from the abyss
giving form to the formless
as the earth inhaled and the word gave birth.
It passes ethereally before these campers
serving comfort in solitude and solemnity
softly whispering to them
beyond the sense of sound
what the morning brings to pass.
Its cleanness transcends distress seeking
to distance them from heaven’s sacred moment
its purity brushing regenerate against their faces.
The quietness of evening lends escape
from the harshness of mundane existence of lost communities in the flurry of self-importance and urbanity
where the roar of hectic endurance and intolerance
tramples nativity for a toy or Petty Pursuit
and stains the vision of Christmas.
A deep sleep overtakes these campers
as dreams begin to dance within their hearts and heads –
anticipations and premonitions of Christmas morning’s freshness and renewal bringing possibilities of hope.
Lying beside a frozen lake beneath the firs and pines that stretch toward the house of God
their dreams still attend to movements of nature’s symphony soft and almost unnoticeable melodic notes like
a long drawn lull before a crescendo lets loose in celebration.
Sugar pines replace sugarplums –
They have hours to go before they wake
hours to go before they wake.
Can such a wintry silent night guide the hope of a new day?
The baby in the manger insures it.
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