This delicate beauty was made for me by the mother of a dear friend decades ago. Back when I still collected dolls. I no longer do, but Rebecca here (the name she whispered to me when I took her from her box the first time) still holds an honored spot in my home. For eleven months of the year she sits in view in a shadow box on my living room wall. The twelfth month she hangs in a prominent spot on my Christmas tree.
Hanging to the top right of her is a glass egg from a set of four, made in Egypt, purchased as an extravagance at a time when we hadn’t much money.
Next to the egg, a sweet-faced clown rides a unicycle with a monkey on his arm. I discovered him in a small shop on a trip to Montreal seventeen years ago with my mother, my brother, and my son. We drove there from Rhode Island in search of a warm wool coat for me. I came home with the clown, instead.
Every ornament on our tree has a story behind it; every story attached to a memory of a friend or family member, some of them no longer here. It takes a long time to decorate our tree.
The world is full of seemingly unrelenting misery right now, but–oh, my–in the small space that we can control, isn’t it an act of self-kindness to fill it with the things in our lives that give us such pleasure?
This is my wish for all of us this holiday season. That we make space wherever, whenever we can, and fill it with goodness, laughter….and most of all, love.
May it be enough to sustain us.