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Perspective: A flying change for the season

Katie Andraski

I’m sitting next to one of our Christmas trees, facing the other one. Every ornament I hang brings memories—a ceramic Georgia Peach from our trip to Savannah, the sheep mobile from Ace Hardware, the hoof broken off the prancing horse from when I, not the cat, pulled down the tree, the globe with gold bits from Mount Rushmore.

I remember the Christmases where it hurt to decorate our tree because my family had died, and the one where we gave Bruce’s mother’s tree a home and the one where our neighbors joined us for dinner, the joy of people like family at our table.

On Epiphany I sip hot chocolate to counter the melancholy as I take down those memories, putting this year behind me and looking ahead to the new one, with both dread and hope.

I see the season of the Christmas tree and the lights in Cherry Valley like a flying change, the time when a horse lifts their legs into the air to change from one direction to the next, a necessary lifting so their legs don’t tangle. I am suspended in a season of remembering and melancholy, hope and taking stock, a season of lights that puncture the darkness.

Jeffrey Davis in Tracking Wonder says this pause is “the subtle space between two thoughts, two actions, or two breaths” called in Sanskrit unmesa and so, I breathe out the year that has passed, pause, breathe in the one on its way.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University. You can read more of her writing on Substack at Katie's Ground.