It’s that time of year again. One I always look forward to. A time for renewal and reflection. A chance to take stock of your life so far, and appreciate what you have. My Christmas wish to all my friends and family is that you have a safe, happy holiday, and spend it with those you love and who love you, even if you can only do so in your heart.
Several years ago, I wrote a Christmas story. And to this day, reading it still gives me chills – in a good way. I think it’s probably the best story I’ve ever written. Everything just seemed to flow when I wrote it – and those are the best stories to write – the ones that just jump out of you and onto the page, almost like you’re re-telling about something that really happened. I’m not a particularly religious person, but this story – to me – just seems right. I’m sure some of you will just think it’s corny, sentimental mush, but regardless, my gift to you is Midnight Clear. It’s in PDF format, so feel free to download it and read it yourself, or share it with friends and family.
Before you download, here’s a taste of the story. I hope it tweaks your interest enough to click the link. Merry Christmas, all, and a very happy new year!
It was a night symbolic of December in the north. Quiet, and the air so cold you almost thought you could shatter it like a pane of glass. Of the four other cabins on the lake, mine was the only one with a welcoming light shining in the window.
Standing on the porch, I watched the slight breeze move my breath away from me in little clouds. Looking up I could see thousands brilliant gems sparkling on the black velvet drape of night. On the horizon, spirits from an ancient world reeled and cavorted in their colourful, mystical dance. The distant, lone cry of a wolf echoed across the lake. Then quiet again. On such a clear night, the moon cast a serene glow across the fresh blanket of snow. Giant spruce, whispering to me in the breeze, carved long shadows in the snow. The frozen sheet of the lake was also covered, but I could still make out the dip between the shore and water, however slight.
A beautiful night, to be sure, but special in more ways than these.
Tomorrow would be Christmas. Beth-Anne would be arriving before lunch. Christmas in the country . . . what could be better?
And that thought jarred me from my reverie. I was out here for a reason – the woodshed. The night was not going to get any warmer, after all. I clapped my hands together – a dull thud through my wool gloves – and pulled my show shoes off their resting-place. Slapping the latches in place, I grabbed the wood sack and made my way to the side of the cabin.
Walking in the shoes always makes the snow seem deceptively firm as if one is walking on the ground. Reaching down to open the lid of the woodshed quickly dissolved that illusion, though.
As I rifled through my heating supply, I heard a thud, like someone dropping a rock on soft ground. I stood up and craned my neck, looking as best I could for the originator of the sound. Listening intently, I heard nothing more and so resumed my search for some good, 4-hour logs. Probably just a clump of snow falling from one of the trees, I told myself.
Well there you have the opening to my story. Enjoy Midnight Clear with friends and family if you like, but above all, have a very Merry Christmas. Here’s to a wonderful 2012!