From Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
[T]he ruinous thing about growing up is that we stop creating mysteries where none exist, and worse, we usually try to deconstruct and deny the genuine mysteries that remain.
Where does mystery exist in this season?
Sometimes it’s hard to spot under all the hustle and bustle of The Season.
But, as we move from The Season to the holidays proper, there’s plenty of mystery: the everyday miracles of safe arrivals, warm meals prepared and served with care, leftovers, the way you can eat mince pie for breakfast and stay in your pajamas all day and, today, it’s OK.
In the midst of all this, there is still the dull ache, the longing for the mysteries we constructed around these days as children and the deep search for genuine mysteries to fire our mature imaginations the way cookies and milk that disappeared overnight once did.
And then there is the question that hovers, sometimes just outside our little circles of light and sometimes inside them, as when, late at night, no is is stirring (not even a mouse), and you look at the tree defiantly blazing all its little lights against the dark, and wrap the blanket a little tighter, and wonder: where have the years gone, and where will the next one take you?
Late nights by the tree.
Tea. A book. No one stirring.
Peace on earth. Goodwill.