Point of View: Wrap It, Please

There was a time, wasn’t there, when an orange or a persimmon or some sweetmeat for the children would do

It’s a few days before Christmas and I should wrap up my thoughts for Mary, with whom I share daily bread and whose company I always look forward to, as does O’en.

We are the two of us smitten, and I always say to him on the way home that we’re drawing near to her. That perks him up. Me too. 

Pretty much all the accoutrements of the season have vanished, now that the kids are gone, though there was, until it fell off, a nice wreath on our door, and now a small tree, a real one in a bucket, sent by Sheila from Southern California, which reminded me that Christmas is celebrated to the nines in the desert.

There was a time, wasn’t there, when an orange or a persimmon or some sweetmeat for the children would do, but it’s all out of proportion now. Surfeit’s the order of the day. I really don’t envy the young all those things.

Perhaps prompted by such contrarian thoughts, we’ve begun divesting ourselves lately of things, thinking, as we sort through all the stuff, what it is we want to save. 

I want to save us, as we are at our ease, talking lightheartedly across the table, about any manner of things — things of the mind, mind, not of things you can stub your toes on.

“I did get you something,” she wrote me once, “but I didn’t have time to tell you my thoughts before they were wrapped. . . . We are the changing seasons. . . .”

Deep transience, I’m thinking.

When at our best, I mean, when not wrenched from the present — her presence being enough of a present for me, she who is beautiful, witty, and true. 

Could you wrap that thought up, please? Yes, with that shiny red paper and white ribbon. I’ll put it under the tree. 

It’s for someone whose days, I hope, will always be merry and bright, though I should add her Christmases needn’t be white.