It was inevitable, I'm told, that the crash would come. Hard. Every year before the sun even began its descent on Christmas Day, she hit a wall, a meltdown.
The sugar from the two-foot-long-stocking candy would lose its sweetness. The presents lay in a bed of wrapping paper. The tree's skirt hidden for days made a reappearance all crumpled and sparkly. Family had come and gone, bellies full. Hearts fuller from laughter and tales and time together. The whistle and cheers from a distant football game serve as a sort of lulling background music for the end of the day.
Anticipation had given birth to delight and now the crash. A fury of emotion. Crying. Fatigue. Maybe a small tantrum here or there. All ending in sleep coming on her without warning, at least to her. My parents knew though.
It wasn't that she didn't get what she wanted. It was that what she wanted didn't bring the satisfaction she expected. All the hopes had come to an end.
I felt my own crash coming on last night. The rare gift of snow at Christmas here in the south began to drip away and a slow meltdown seeped into my heart with the giving thanks. I practice indirection and realize His arrival means hopes without end and what I want meets its satisfaction to the full. His white in my heart transforming the ordinary into cause for joy.
This Monday after Christmas I echo Robert Herrick's lines, whisper them softly into the sweet remains of a white blanketed gift:
Lord,'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land
And giv'st me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one
All these, and better, Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render for my part
A thankful heart;
Which, fired with incense, I resign
As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.
"A Thanksgiving to God for His House"