Everything drips with symbolism lately.
I’ve undecorated the tree this afternoon. It’s time to let go. In fact, it’s past time. The needles are dropping faster, brownish tan slowly outshines the evergreen color. Sure, in a certain light, night-time,with just the small twinkle lights on, it looks vibrant and adds such ambience to the room. But in reality, a fire hazard stands in the living room.
When we first became acquainted, this tree sent its voluptuous pine scent wafting about the entire house. I thought it seemed happy here. But truly, it was simply on its last few weeks of a life spent outdoors, gazing at the stars, tucked in under the snow, basking in the sun, drenched in the rain. Then it found its life cut short and quickly waning. For a brief span of time it glowed and sparkled with beauty and light and life, its last bit of energy expended giving joy and lifting hearts.
But now, fully spent, its time has come to move on. Perhaps a few of her needles will become part of the mulch that nurtures next autumns flowers into a radiant bloom. Perhaps a chill night will be brightened and warmed by her last few embers. Perhaps in years to come a photo of a decorated tree, fallen over with the weight of too many ornaments and not enough balance, will lighten the heart of an aged woman. Or another photo of that same tree redecorated and standing proud and straight with a sweet smiling man at her side will bring cheer into a grandchild’s mind.
This sweet Christmas tree oversaw a bittersweet holiday. It did its job with honor and aplomb. If there were medals awarded for Christmas tree service above and beyond the call of duty, this tree would have earned and worn an extras star of honor.
Now a small brass angel oversees the last of the boxing up of the gold and white bulbs, the untangling of the white lights from the branches. Tonight that tree will look up at the stars once again and dream.
Tonight, my living room will feel empty. I’ll walk in and feel lost knowing something important is missing. The empty spot will continue feeling empty regardless of the rearranging of furniture or placing of photos and lamps.
Now you see that I’m a silly, melodramatic woman, with far too much time for thinking and not enough to keep my mind and hands occupied.
I keep saying goodbye in such odd ways.
Maybe this year, this new set of twelve months, will be spent doing just that.
Goodnight sweet tree.