The Magic of a Snowy Night

What are we to make of snow falling from the sky, grey with the all the sadness of the year. The skies tears are so cold that they freeze on the way down. The snow is wet and it sticks intimately with the ground. As I walk around smoking my pipe with the spicy aroma wafting up like frivolous prayers commuting past the falling flakes. I hear a train far off filled with children in pajamas railroaded along in their night journey. I am alive, and I am in a warm faux mad bomber cap happy and puffing on my pipe with the grateful prayer tobacco.
I wonder if winter time is when God is a child. Just born in that cave in Bethlehem defying the monster coming from Yeats nightmare. He is born among, the cows, donkeys, and goats who bleat, bray or moo with the angel choirs who descended from the sky. I am sure even the stars sang that magic night just yesterday. God is only a man when he has to face death during Passover and darkness in the midday. Right now he is a child, powerful and innocent filled with the dream of the coming spring and the eternal summer to come.
I wonder if we put up our holy illuminations to delight him. The train comes closer and my pipe grows warmer. The tobacco smoke floats away mingling with the silent snow. The whistle wails low and high, the sound bounces off the young sandstone and sleeping cottonwood. The river flows singing its eternal song its defiance of time that Tennyson discussed.
The dreary men wait in their homes, winter soldiers filled with despair and planning their campaigns not knowing evil or goodness too lost in their own ambitions. Forgetting the songs of childhood and their scary stories fro they have become the scary beings who walk alone at night. They fight paper tigers and go to overflowing tombs. The child wants to see them but they refuse to believe. The dreariest of them will hate his joy and his hope and send faceless men with swords; Herod’s ghost still wanders the Judean countryside looking for his son yelling for his crown. The real king still sits in his manger crowned with straw and his mother’s love.
On nights like this I feel like a shepherd. My pipe is very hot and the train is near the intersection. I’m sure the kids are happy in pajamas filled with cocoa and wonder. The snow is slowing and the magic moment will soon end. The air is growing thicker and soon I will have to wait for the sun to rise and stars again. The train rolls by like a gentle bear remembering her grown cubs sleeping peaceful dreaming of spring berries and cubs of their own. So is the passing of time when heaven meets the earth and where sorrow touches joy.
My pipe is hot and empty. The snow has stopped falling and the illuminated train chugs her way home. I clean out my pipe with a snowy branch. I smile and walk back to my house, with a small string of lights and Christmas tree to delight the child with a crown of straw and the tree for the angels to sing around. So ends my birthday.


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