In ten days, it will be Christmas morning! This past Sunday, I went to the annual performance of The Singing Christmas Tree at the Orange Baptist Church. My grandma started the tradition at Orange Baptist and was the director of the performance for 22 years. She said the first year, people were lined up all the way down Main Street and around the courthouse, waiting to get into the church, and that even after they had violated fire codes with as many extra chairs as would fit in the aisles, and people standing, they had to turn people away, and that people were so excited, a reporter from the radio station came out. Can you imagine!? I guess you see lines like that for Justin Bieber concerts, but I can't help myself from getting carried away with the old-fashioned romance of the radio and so many people wanting to hear a choir singing carols in a church while assembled on wooden bleachers disguised with fresh greenery and formed into the shape of a Christmas tree... Everybody together with the smell of matches and wood polish and that unidentifiable something that can only be the scent of rituals being repeated for years on end. I've been to the performance almost every year. And every year my dad whispers and squirms around like a boy the whole time, which is annoying and lovely all at once. This year, the phrase from Deck the Halls... "fast away the old year passes" really struck me, and has been flitting through my thoughts all week. I love that phrase. It is beautiful, I think. Sometimes life has an unconscious pace that rolls along evenly. And sometimes, there is a sensation of anticipation, that some unknown something is about to turn, change, tangibly evolve. Lately I've had that feeling. Maybe I'm just excited for no real reason, and that is good enough in itself. But I love feeling like I do, like I'm approaching a garden gate, and can see just a little through the keyhole... wondering if the gate is locked or unlocked, if I have the key that fits in my pocket, or if I'm going to have to weld one, or if I'm just going to scale the wall instead of using the gate. And I wonder how exploring the whole of the garden is going to compare with the tiny glimmer of a view visible through the hole.
I saw the sun rise on Saturday morning before the Christmas market in town. I stayed up way too late on Friday night trying to put the finishing touches on my wares, but even exhaustion couldn't curb my enthusiasm. Here is a picture of my little 'booth' at the market in the early morning light. Wearing long johns under my jeans, wool socks, two shirts, two sweaters, a vest and gloves, I manned my space for six hours. My eyes were puffy and my nose was bright red... and my hairdo wasn't too attractive either, I realized after the whole day had gone by, but I had a really good time talking to market-goers and other vendors in the refreshing winter air, and I made lots of sales!!
Today I found this porcelain heart bowl at the Goodwill for 49 cents. I filled it up with seeds and put it on the table outside the window next to my work space in hopes that it will lure some hungry birds for me to spy on!