Midnight on Christmas Eve. I watched the tail lights of the last guest's car depart Eighty Acres and knew the holiday bustle was over. Inside the house, colorful wrapping paper and bows were scattered across the floor. This day our favorite board games had been played and hearty laughter had echoed throughout the house. There had been chaos and confusion from barking grand dogs. Our traditional recipes were enjoyed once again, and numerous frosted cookies in the shapes of stars and wreaths were devoured without guilt. Plus the occasional rattle of ice and spirits in glasses, had all made for a wonderful family gathering.
But now the night was completely still. With a deep calming breath, I stepped off the front porch and was greeted by near zero temps. I pulled my jacket tight to my chest and gazed upon the festive holiday lights now buried under the recent wet heavy snowfall. Tiny ice crystals lightly brushed my cheeks, the smell of firewood lingered in the air, and the moon hung in the eastern sky like a yellow pendent. An owl called to me from across the woods and stars twinkled in the crystal clear night sky. As I turned to enter the warmth of the house, a smile came to my lips and I whispered a prayer of thanks to the Earth Mother for sharing with me this quiet moment on Christmas Eve. All was calm. All was bright. Silent night.