Little ornament, I sometimes think of you on the warmest days of summer, waiting silently and patient in your storage box of red. You quietly guard so many memories beneath your glassy wings.
The day we brought you home, my mom and me, we found you hanging from a needled branch on a department store christmas tree. The music piped, the lights twinkled, and we saw you dangling there. We laughed at your tiny feet, your silly eyes, and eggshell hat. My mother said, “It looks so fragile, I don’t suppose it will last a year. But it’s so silly I think we need to get it, don’t you?” I emphatically agreed as the saleswoman wrapped each of the ornaments we had chosen in layers of tissue and placed them in a bag.
Every year as you emerged from your ball of crumpled paper, Mom would exclaim with delight that you had made it one more year. And every year so far, you have. Do you remember the year we brought you up to the cabin in Wisconsin? You swayed nervously on the feeble bough of a tree so small we tied it to the window to keep it standing.
You’ve survived toppling trees, wagging tails, and even curious toddlers. You’ve seen the birth of many grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. You’ve seen tears of joy and laughter. And you’ve seen the tears of remembrance.
You see, you never know when you’ll open a box and the thing you find most precious is broken beyond repair. And everything it ever was will remain only in the heart of those who love it.
Thank you for reminding me, especially at this time of year, that life is fragile and fleeting and to cherish my loved ones with all my heart while they are within the reach of my loving arms.
Peace . . .