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Perspective: December Psalm

Katie Andraski

In December, the pup wakes us at 4:30. Outside we see Orion standing in the eastern sky, close to the horizon, swollen like a god who could reach out his hand.

I want sleep but don’t find it until the couch and evening TV. It’s not just sleep from a bad cough, or walking the puppy, but a sleep of grief. The season reminds me that my people are gone.

After the first snow, the puppy finds blood and matted fur by the wood pile, rabbit tracks and coyote tracks. I fear meeting a coyote.

Christmas lights are nice, especially the ones in Cherry Valley — trees wound with white bulbs. They cheer me before the short drive to gaudy businesses or the long drive onto dark country roads. This year I don’t want presents, and I’m tired of the pressure to buy stuff that catches dust, that gets boring fast.

December falls to darkness, but also rises to dawn, days that swell quickly. My horse begins to drop coat. And we think a little about that obscure baby born in a backwater town, who lived an obscure life, and died a grisly death, a man tradition says sank into hades, overturned it like so much stiff dirt, and popped out like we see every spring, seeds turned into green shoots, rolling dirt like boulders over. And we know the world has turned, the sun pushes back the darkness.

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

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University