Wishing everyone a Blessed Christmas and offering you this poem from decades ago.
May you be filled with the wonder of God Among Us – for the Word of God, the Lord of the Universe, was made Flesh for each and every one of you, for your healing redemption and eternal joy…
My mother gathers stars.
She arranges the glowing orbs
my father has placed
upon the frosty boughs of a spruce tree
Standing on the aluminum ladder,
gleaming silver in the early dark,
She leans into the light
of the newly Christmassed tree,
Her face serenely concentrating and illuminated
as if by the warmly rising sun
and not the crisp sparks of electricity.
My mother gathers the stars
and sets their light to shine in beauty and hope,
with work coarsened hands that fear not the cold,
a gentle motion, a light touch.
And as the stars curve and rise by her whim,
I sit back from afar
and watch Creation take shape.
I breathe vapor puffs
as I sing “O, Holy Night” in whisper,
and the starry tree softens behind the misty veil,
like thin clouds over the moon.
Then, I drive my electric wheelchair forward,
coming up close to the tree
until its green branches
are like arms opened wide to receive
my crumpled self.
Encompassed in its bright height and form,
I close my eyes halfway, until I’m seeing through my lashes,
then the tree disappears
and only my mother’s stars are visible,
suspended in the chilled air around me.
The shining spheres glitter before me,
and I am in the infinite universe,
floating with the golden stars
suspended as they are in the cool dark space,
independent and brightly casting their brilliant sparkle.
I smile in joyful glee,
momentarily break the spell,
and invite my mother to share my discovery
of a new and fantastic world.
But, she has no time for childish amusement,
she has the important task
of gathering stars at hand
and setting their light to shine in just the right inch of this universe
(of whose glory I make bold to claim discovery).
I smirk at her business efficiency,
and return to the wonders of a dip in the night sky.
Yet, how can a mere mortal like me possibly comprehend
the majesty of a mother who gathers stars?
While moving her ladder from one polar point to another,
she stops and takes a moment
to tuck my fingers into the scarf on my lap,
so my cold hands touch under the wool,
and the two intertwined give warmth to each other,
on a freezing December night when the heavens themselves are moved.
© 2016 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.