here in this life / by Christina Rosalie

It’s snowing hard from a pale sky, the kind of snow that makes me grin and want to cry at once: it’s so beautiful, white on white on white.

And I’m back in my life again, after a hiatus of days, weeks, the intensity of a semester behind me and in a few days, Christmas. Family, and plans to make croissants from scratch, and bleary eyes on Saturday morning at 5:30AM when the boys will inevitably wake, eager and wide-eyed with wonder.

The past two nights we’ve watched old movies: Miracle on 34th Street and It’s A Wonderful Life. I’ve never seen either one, and oh, how I love them both. Nostalgia is a funny thing, isn’t it? It’s something inherently human, isn’t it? To want and long for what’s gone by. It’s maybe one of the things that defines our humanity. Our awareness of the past tense, just like our awareness of the future plant’s us squarely in the very fleeting, very mortal moment of the present.

In this moment I’m wearing torn, paint spattered jeans instead of a carefully fitted dress. I’m here in this present of my life, and out the window blue jays and cardinals gather in the lilac hoping for seed. Streaks of blue and read against the landscape of brown and white and gray. By the end of winter their colored plumage is something I cling to in a monochrome world; everything drawn out: the time it takes to leave or arrive an almost endless choreography of outerwear.

Today it’s the solstice. The wondrous darkest day, half a year away from when the light lasted until nearly ten and the fields hummed with crickets and danced with fireflies at dusk.

Tonight we’ll light candles at dinner and sing. We’ll hang the prisms that the Advent Fairy brought in the windows to make the light dance on future sunny days, and maybe we’ll go sledding, all of us on the toboggan hurtling down the driveway in a flash of laughter.