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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Poem: “The Light Shines in the Darkness” by John Shea

In those long-ago days of Christmas innocence when it always snowed gently in a starry and windless night, my parents would hustle my sisters and me into the back seat of the car. We would drive slowly, snow crunching under cold tires, into the neighborhoods of the rich to see the “lights,”

Reindeer and wise men, sleighs and shepherds, elves and Mary, angels and carolers, Santa Claus and Baby Jesus were lit up on lawns so night passengers in slow-moving cars could gawk through frosted windows and say, “Look at that one!”

Once when we returned from the “lights,” I saw another light. No razzle-dazzle, no blinking on and off, no glitz, no “Oh, wow!” In the window of our second-floor flat the lit tree glowed in the surrounding darkness, a simple contrast. It carried me away.

I ran up the stairs to get closer to the revelation, only to find its moment of glory had passed. Just a pine tree shedding needles on the rug. But it had done its Christmas work.

The darkness would never be the same.

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