Posted November 28, 2011 by jimhigley
I’ve had an on-going love affair with one particular Christmas tree for a long time. We met innocently years ago – a chance meeting. It was a cold, crisp December night and I was on my way home from a holiday party – hosted by some of my closest friends, Lib and Chris, who lived about thirty minutes away.
Driving home, I cut through their neighborhood – a different way than normal – and there she was. The most beautiful Christmas tree ever. She was a stunner. I have always thought of her as a “she” but I’m actually not 100% sure. Perhaps “she’s” a “tree-male” impersonator. I don’t know. And, I don’t care. I love her either way.
From the moment I saw her, she became the standard by which all other Christmas trees would be measured. Standing center stage in a sprawling lawn in front of a stately, three-story home, this towering beauty was unlike any tree I had ever seen in my life. She was loaded. Bejeweled. Bedazzled. And, so very be-lighted. Dripping with sparkle on her every needle. If Dolly Parton were a Christmas tree, this one would be her.
That first year, I said nothing to her. I just dazed.
It wasn’t until the second year, when I made what was to become an annual journey back to see this glistening beauty, that I realized her illuminating personality came from a combination of tiny, rainbow-colored bulbs delicately woven throughout the larger, showier, medium-sized bulbs. This gal knew how to gussy herself up. Not one square inch was left without a glow. And, year after year, she continued to deliver the same, brilliant, radiating joy that I looked so forward to encountering.
Today, fate has brought us even closer together. My family moved during this past year and we now live just a few short blocks from my Australian love. I swear, this was not planned. Honestly, it is a coincidence that I didn’t even realize until one warm, summer day – in August – when I was out for a run in the neighborhood. Something magical drew me to Warwick Road. To one particular home where I stopped dead in my tracks. This was definitely a place I knew I had been many times before.
“Is it you?” I said as I looked up to the top of this tall, yet unassuming pine, shielding the blinding sun with my hands.
Her boughs just swayed as if to tell me that she was disappointed in me for not stopping by sooner. I was getting the silent treatment which I knew I deserved. But, in my defense, I had never seen her in the glow of the sun. I only knew her inner glow – that beacon deep inside.
I had clearly had disappointed her. Down to her roots.
So, over the last several months I have visited her regularly. On my runs I always save time for her. I throw her smiles. I’ve given her a drink from my water bottle. I’ve tried to show her that I care and that I understand.
My patience and love was finally rewarded this past weekend when she returned. It was like a rainbow after a long, steady storm.
And, trust me, I’ve learned my lesson. I will no longer be her seasonal admirer. I’m hers for the long haul. After all, love can’t turn on and off like a light switch, can it?