December 24, 2010

very faint, and far away

Late at night on Christmas Eve, she carried us to our high bedroom, and darkened the room, and opened the window, and held us awed in the freezing stillness, saying--and we could hear the edge of tears in her voice--"Do you hear them? Do you hear the bells, the little bells, on Santa's sleigh?" We marveled and drowsed, smelling the piercingly cold night and the sweetness of Mother's warm neck, hearing in her voice so much pent emotion, feeling the familiar strength in the crook of her arms, and looking out over the silent streetlights and the chilled stars over the rooftops of the town. "Very faint, and far away--can you hear them coming?" And we could hear them coming, very faint and far away, the bells on the flying sleigh.

--Annie Dillard, An American Childhood

These are the kind of memories I want to give my own children, someday.
Merry Christmas, everyone.


  1. Beautiful. In my heart, I believe you will. I know that doesn't really mean much, but it's the only gift I have to give right now.
    Sending you love halfway across the world. Merry Christmas.