Dear Austin and Brianna,
Early this morning, Sunday, December 16, 2007, around about 6:15 am, in the early morning time, when the sky is mostly dark and just beginning to get lighter, right before the break of dawn, I was taking my usual morning walk. Everything was covered with a blanket of fresh snow from the night before. Snow plows had been through to clear the roads, and some people had shoveled their sidewalks. For the rest of the way, though, mine were the first human tracks to make their way that morning. It was beautiful and peaceful. I love this time of day.
It started out as a usual winter morning walk….until the second block on School Street. Out of nowhere, I was it in the back of my head with a snowball. Not hard; just enough to know I’d gotten hit with a chunk of snow from above and behind somewhere. And there was nobody else around that I could see. Okay, maybe it was wind, I thought. And I kept walking. It was such a beautiful morning after all. And I had this feeling of fun and playfulness inside. I’d just gotten pelted with a snowball though…. Hmmm. Isn’t that interesting, I thought. And I kept walking, enjoying the time alone, the peacefulness, the trees; nature, just before the world awakes.
I was in the next block when I heard it; jingle bells. The unmistakable sound of jingle bells! In all my years of morning walks, I have never heard jingle bells. This was new and different. I stopped and listened. Silence. I walked a little further and looked around. All I saw was flag pole and a couple of flags flapping in the wind. They made their own sound, but not the same as the jingle bells sound I’d just heard a few feet down the block.
I laughed and knew I’d been gifted with one of those magical experiences, the kind stories are made of, and the kind only a few are privileged to stumble on. I don’t know for sure. I think, though, that Santa may have been making a special stop in our neighborhood this morning. I think maybe there’s a family that’s celebrating Christmas a little early for some reason. And I think that while Santa was busy putting presents under this family’s tree and making sure everything was just perfect, the ELVES were out playing in the snow. And I just happened to get pelted with a stray snowball. On Christmas, you see, this would never happen. Santa and the elves would be SO BUSY, there would be no time to get into such mischief. But today was different.
The rest of my walk was quiet: no more sleigh bells or snowballs to my head. The sky was starting to get light. I knew Santa and the elves would be well on their way, out of sight until another night. Families would be getting up soon. And at least one special family, would be laughing and delighting that Santa had been able to come early this year, just for them.
As for me, I couldn’t wait to tell the two of you. Amazing things happen sometimes, even when we can’t prove them to anybody else. Will you believe me? I don’t know. I just know I had to tell you.
I had a great time at your birthday party yesterday. Love and hugs to you both.