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Season's Joy

by Robert A. Tino
Small boys in small towns carry big happy dreams for the holidays. The icy crunch of boot heels and clang of buckles breaks the quiet as these two head inside reluctantly - fingers numb from a full-out snow day. What they want is for the holidays to hurry and get here - not hurry and be over. There is nothing commercial about this sacred season on a small town street at sunset. Nothing to jangle the senses and make you wish the season away. The luminous glow of candle lamps behind parted curtains emerges slowly. Unlike the bright blaze of a decked out cityscape, here lights shimmer on softly, one by one, in no particular hurry....but as faithful and certain as Winter folding up for the day and falling into the quiet arms of night. The neighborhood's own silhouetted sky scrapers - bare branches splayed against the stunning ivory-peach striped wash of dusk- put on a show that a million city lights cannot outdo. A solitary steeple, at the heart of it all faintly visible in the mist, peals six bells urging everyone to their hearth - to the whoosh of a roaring fire, the sweet mix of aromas from an oven busy for hours, a table set for four, and the satisfying ordinariness of one day in an extraordinary season. On this street, we are forever full of hope. On this street, we need so much less to feel content. On this street we are called home at twilight to celebrate Season's Joy.

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