In the dips of the Blue Ridge Mountains,
where the soft blue cast blends with mountain streams
and stone walls, I settle in to a sparse cabin
on the side of a hill. It is Christmas Eve,
and I’ve made my journey, here,
away from what Christmas isn’t, to this
stillness that is coming home. The cabin is bare,
and cold. With twigs and logs left by another, I start
a fire, the fireplace making the cabin glow a gentle orange,
smell of wood smoke that makes me want to lie on
the worn blue couch and fall asleep to the crackling wood.
But it is Christmas eve, and I have no tree. In my many
years, I have never spent one without a decorated tree.
It seems a tradition I cannot forego. So, before I settle
by my fire with hot tea and dreams, I zip my coat and head
out into the blue twilight with the axe left by the door.
It doesn’t take long to find the perfect evergreen.
She calls to me, from the hill next to the cabin, and I go to her,
admiring her symmetry, the round of her back, her perfect point.
As the wind blows through her needles, she smiles at me,
and I know I shall never chop her down. I drop my axe
and contemplate. Surely she must be decorated for Christmas!
She shall look like a queen. Scurrying around like a chipmunk
gathering nuts for the winter, I collect pinecones, and berries,
dried flowers, and even a bird’s nest. Soon my splendid tree
is dressed for the holiday. The sun has set, and the cabin calls.
I sleep by the earnest fire, awaiting a silent Christmas,
and my Christmas tree dancing in her place in the hill.