That’s why

I’ve written, and talked, about Christmas trees plenty of times.  I have decades of memories, starting with  exciting ones, as the littlest in my family,  when we hiked into the woods, searched out the perfect “top” in the forest of tall pines, and hollered “timber!” when the tree started to fall.

For years, my own family has driven into the Adirondacks to cut our own fresh tree. Usually, we end up at cousins in Vermontville, Rich Brandt and Ellen Beberman, who’ve been clearing the balsams from a hillside meadow over the last 20 years or so.  When we started there, those trees were somewhat in the Christmas tree range, height-wise. No longer. Now the meadow is laid with wonderful market gardens, and the remaining trees around the margins area all in the “timber!” class.

It can be a long process, finding the perfect tree there.

There have been years when we floundered in waist-deep snow. Some years, we’ve sledded the long hill afterwards. This year, there’s hardly any snow at all. In fact, and the expedition was cancelled Sunday because of freezing rain between here and there. I missed the harvest yesterday altogether.

That’s OK – the tree, a perfect, fragrant, moist balsam top, came in after dark last night.  You know the moment: a force enters your house — so strong, so vital. All we could do was light the candles and bow down before it.

It brings to mind the wonderful song Jackie Sauter started (and ended) Music for a Monday with yesterday. It’s called “Joy” by Tracey Thorn…


…You loved
it as a kid, and now you need it
more than you ever did It’s
because of the dark, we see the
beauty in the spark That’s why,

that’s why…

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