Friday, December 21, 2007

Midnight Clear


I have decked the hall.

The tree (how lovely are thy branches) trimmed in silver swags and cranberry beads, jewelled with gold and crimson baubles, is topped by an ancient star.

Red stockings hang below the mantel, where wooden soldiers painted bright scarlet stand at attention among the candles and the green -- next to the small plain figure of a Canadian peacekeeper.

And the picture of my son in dull combat gear in Afghanistan where he stood hill watch one cold and starlit Christmastide.

My shopping is done. Tomorrow I'll bake with chocolate and cherries and sugar and wrap the remaining presents in happy paper.

Each Christmas Eve, after the stockings have been filled with frivolous things, I sit in the dark beside the tree, like a shepherd.

Listening to the stillness, the silence, the waiting.

Listening to the mystery.

For the moment when the crystal globe of midnight is shattered by the golden, excelsis, adoramus of a song and a star.

Steve Malley, in a December 17 post, advises writers to "set important scenes at seminal times of day: sunset, dawn, high noon, midnight."

The Christmas story is a perfect manual for writers.

Posts on this blog may be erratic or entirely absent over the holidays, but will certainly return by the New Year.

You cannot know how much your gifts of encouragement have meant to me.

I wish you a blessed Christmas. I wish you glitter and glory and good tidings in the New Year.

But mostly, I wish you joy.


71 comments:

Julie said...

Thankyou, Bernita; and every best wish to you and yours over the Christmas Season.

strugglingwriter said...

Merry Christmas to you!

bunnygirl said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Bernita!

BernardL said...

It has been a pleasure reading your comments this year. Merry Christmas, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Julie, and Struggling, and Bunny, and Bernard!
~~throwing tinsel with abandon~

Ric said...

A lovely read this morning. May your Christmas be filled with the magic you share with us.

Bernita said...

Thank you, dear Ric.
~holding up mistletoe~

Jaye Wells said...

As you sit beside that tree, think about how many lives you've touched this year through this blog. Thank you and Merry Christmas, Bernita.

Carla said...

Have a wonderful Christmas, Bernita, and I'll be eagerly awaiting your return in the New Year!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jaye and Carla.
~heaving handfuls of glitter in your direction - not that either of you need it to shine~

December/Stacia said...

Thanks, Bernita, and I wish you and your family the best year yet. You deserve it. Thanks for providing a bit of beauty on the internet every day.

Angie said...

I hope you have a joyful holiday too, hon. [hugz] Definitely don't worry about us between now and New Year; you're one of the most tireless bloggers I've ever run into, and the way you not only post pretty much every day but also have something significant to say every day is boggling. You definitely deserve a break. :)

Angie

Bernita said...

Thank you, December and Angie.
~BIG hugs back to you both~

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and thank you for the very beautiful post.

I awoke late from a dream of silks glinting with golden thread and the coronation of an arrogant new king with counter-plots already brewing against him.

So much of writing is consumed with how to depict a vision, but not enough time is spent on developing the vision itself.

Asa

Bernita said...

Thank you, Asa.
~tossing sugar plums and gilded gingerbread your way~

Sarah Hina said...

I'm new to your blog, Bernita, but have already been richly rewarded.

Thank you for your generosity, and have a joyous Christmas and New Year!

cyn said...

happy christmas to you, bernita. and may 2008 be filled with much learning, inspiration, writing and good surprises. =)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sarah and Cyn.
~ sending grace notes across the void~

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Peace, Bernita, and Happy Christmas.

Josephine Damian said...

Peace, hugs, and happy holidays, Bernita!

And may the muse always be kind.

Bernita said...

Thank you, SS and Josephine.
~sending the scent of pine and fir and sage dressing~

raine said...

Your Christmas setting is lovely.

And enjoying your blog has been a very special gift, all year long. Thank you.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Bernita, and may your New Year be wonder-full.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Raine.
~sending you starlight and firelight and laughter~

StarvingWriteNow said...

Happiest of holidays and best wishes for the new year to you.

SzélsőFa said...

in Christmas time I also like sitting by and listening to ... the silence...
Thank you for the kind wishes here and on my site and Have a Merry Christmas, with all the Happyness to come with it!

Aine said...

Though my voice is new to you, you've been a presence in our home since Jason started blogging. Thank you for sharing your ideas and your talents.

"Each Christmas Eve, after the stockings have been filled with frivolous things, I sit in the dark beside the tree, like a shepherd.
Listening to the stillness, the silence, the waiting.
Listening to the mystery."

I do the same! I've always thought of it as a very distilled moment-- it is the essence of Christmas for me. One year, our youngest was just 4 days old, and I spent the entire night sleeping with her on my chest in a reclining chair next to the lit tree. That was the most magical Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Bernita!

Billy said...

Those moments of stillness--how sweet they are ... and full of treasure. And may you too have a blessed Christmas as well, Bernita!

Church Lady said...

Thank you Bernita. Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!!
:-)

Charles Gramlich said...

And to you, Bernita. Have a merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Beautiful post.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Starving and Szelsofa.
~sending you the softness of teddy bears and candle glow and children's kisses~

Oh, Aine! To quote Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea, you are "of the tribe that knows Joseph." Thank you.

Thank you, Billy and Chris and Charles.
~sending you holly,and the shine of red wagons and the beat of toy drums.

moonrat said...

you too, bernita :) xxxxx

Shauna Roberts said...

May you have a wonderful Christmas.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Moondear and Shauna.
~sending choral voices and silver bells~

Dave F. said...

The food shopping is done. I got one more gift to wrap. And I can finally read your blog.
I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year in 2008.

Scott from Oregon said...

Here's to sandy beaches and snow!

Merry Christmas with my mind in Sydney, and my body shoveling the sidewalk...

Jeff said...

Bernita, you weave delightful patterns with your words.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! :)

Chumplet said...

May you have a peaceful and magical Christmas, dear Bernita.

Ello said...

Merry Christmas Bernita! And may the new year be a blessed one for us all.

Lisa said...

Merry Christmas Bernita. There is something magical in that midnight moment, isn't there? I always feel the spirits of Christmas past with me then. Magic and love and joy to you.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Dave and Scott.
~sending sleds, and candy canes and memories~

Thank you, Jeff and Sandra.
~sending snow angels and bonbons and hot chocolate~

Thank you, Ello and Lisa.
~sending you cinnamon and moonlight and secret delight~

Thank you, Dear People.
~sending you love~
God rest ye. Be merry.

Sam said...

The tree sounds lovely, as does the rest of the decor -
We have a tipsy angel on top of our tree, lol.
May your Christmas be Joyous!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sam
~four calling birds, three French hens...~

Travis Erwin said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Vesper said...

Merry Christmas to you, Bernita, and your loved ones! All the best in the New Year! :-)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Travis and Vesper.
~sending you sticky candy and snow angels and trumpets~

Chumplet said...

Bernita, you've opened up a whole new world to me. I thank you and wish you a magical Christmas.

Sid Leavitt said...

Though it's been said many times, many ways . . . you know, thanks.

Rob said...

Merry Christmas, Bernita!

Bernita said...

Thank you dear Sandra.
~sending you lords a-leaping, and garlands and friends with bright faces~

Thank you, Sid and Rob.
~sending you roasted chestnuts, and ladies dancing and cheer.

writtenwyrdd said...

Lovely thoughts, Bernita. Have a merry Christmas!

ORION said...

Mele Kalikimaka!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Written and Pat.
~sending you jewelled wines and soft cushions and pear trees~

Jon M said...

Merry Christmas Bernita. Thanks for all the visits. Sorry I've been absent recently!

EA Monroe said...

Merry Christmas, Bernita, and joy and blessings to you and your loved ones. ~Elizabeth

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jon and Elizabeth.
~sending cider and sleigh rides and cheer~

jason evans said...

Such a treasure to have that picture of your son to remember a lonely moment healed with time.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Gabriele C. said...

Frohe Weihnachten, Bernita. :)

LadyBronco said...

Merry Christmas!

Frank Baron said...

Have a happy everything and joyous everything else Bernita. :)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason and Gabriele,Lady B and Frank.
~baubles and books and your heart's desire~

The Anti-Wife said...

A very Happy Christmas and wonderful new year to you! Thanks for your excellent blog! It's a great gift.

Bernita said...

Thank you, AW.
~wishing you cherries and chocolates and golden hoops~

Lana Gramlich said...

Best of the New Year to you & yours! :)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Lana.
Every good thing to you and Charles.

Wayne said...

Happy New Year!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Wayne.
And to you. Crammed full of all things wonderful.

Steve Malley said...

Just popped over to say CONGRATULATIONS on Stonechild!!

Way to go!!!!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Steve.
A small thing, but mine.
And thank you for your blog and the good advice it presents.

Buffy said...

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Bernita. :)

B.

Julie said...

Every best wish for 2008 to you and yours, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Buffy, thank you. I did. Hope you had an equally lovely one!

Thank you, Julie. May only good things come your way!