December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

Memories of my childhood Christmases drift in and out my thoughts tonight like the steam from the pot of soup cooking on the stove. Random memories: A live carp swimming around in the tub of our apartment in Kralupy, the whole room reeking of river water and father not quite sure how to do the kill; my parents and I, sitting in our living room in Toronto, singing carols and missing all the family we’d left behind in Europe; the Czech Christmas Mass my father played so much I still remember all the words. And later memories: R stomping around and ho-ho-hoing on the roof of the bungalow in Arizona, pretending to be Santa, and N wide-eyed with wonder below; N playing an angel in the church we joined on a whim and then left even faster, the giant tree we had a the house on Queen’s, too big for all our ornaments. Layers and layers of memories so many still full of magic and myth.

Last week, C next door gave me Sara McLachlan’s Wintersong CD. The first cut is a cover of John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over). I think Sara does it justice though I still hear John Lennon singing it with her. And it really hits home. As I’m flooded by the memories all those past Christmases, all of them rich and all of them safe, I think about how many people don’t have the luxury of safety. Tonight we’ll sit down, my parents and R and N and I, and we’ll add another layer to the memory bank, and we’ll all remember how very lucky we are to be here and together and, for now, without fear.

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