A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa, Are You Listening?

It was so warm this fall that it was hard to believe Christmas was coming. The recent snowstorms have helped me realize that yes, it's definitely December. A visit to New York City this week, combining business with pleasure, provided another means of getting into a holiday mood.

The weather was fine and the streets clear of snow. Perfect for walking. We checked out Rockefeller Center and the windows on Fifth Avenue on the way to the Empire State Building. After lunch with a college friend who works on the 50th floor, we ducked into Macy's, king among department stores for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrating. We visited kindly, twinkly-eyed Santa, listened to the singing Christmas trees, browsed the winter wonderland of decorated trees, and wandered the aisles of the toy department.

This festively beribboned zebra caught my fancy. I would have loved it as a child. When I was a little girl, I'd never even been near a real horse, but I never gave up hope of owning one. I loved zebras, ponies, and donkeys, too--anything equine.

The best I could do was to collect figurines of horses. Most were made of china, but a few were wood or metal or even stuffed. The little ones were displayed on a mahogany shelf in my bedroom. Periodically, my mother would knock a couple of horses off while vacuuming and break a delicate leg or two.

Every year, I wished for a pony. I had figured out exactly where in the back yard we could keep him. My mother's patient explanations about zoning laws and the cost of upkeep had little effect on my child's mind. I never really gave up hope. Santa, are you listening?

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