Ah, tis the season. Decorations are everywhere. Houses, trees, lamp posts. Every year the decorations seem to get bigger and brighter. But I have seen this year that small and subtle can have great impact.
Walking on rural roads in the pre-dawn hours, when most of the holiday displays have been turned off, the only flashing lights are generally yard lights glinting off discarded beer and pop cans.
But this holiday season I’ve found something new. One dark morning, my eye caught a glint I thought was another can. As I came close, I realized it was not a can, but in the darkness I couldn’t make it out, so I walked on by. Another day, the sun had peeked over the horizon when I came upon that same spot and saw the object was a tree ornament. I’m used to seeing just about anything along the road. A tree ornament was a first. I mused over who had lost it? How? And would it be missed?
A little further on, I came upon another ornament. And then another. Ornaments showed up on both sides of the road. None was on the roadway itself where it would be crushed by passing traffic. But none was down in the ditches, either. It was as though someone had placed each one on purpose. Most definitely not a random lost ornament; I counted at least 15 in the course of a mile.
I thought of picking them up. Why let objects so pretty risk being destroyed, as they surely would be? But the more I thought about these ornaments, the more I thought they might be someone’s little bit of personal joy, spread to delight anyone who came upon them. Perhaps the decorator meant them to delight those of us who walk. Perhaps they were a personal message to the universe.
When I stooped to take these pictures, I saw the ornaments each carried a hand written message. “Let it snow” “Noel” “Merry, Merry” I didn’t turn each one over, but they all seemed to be different.
What message did the person who left these ornaments intend? I have no idea. But they have been a gift to me. The ornaments have made me slow down during my walks. They have reminded me to enjoy the holidays every day. They have made me smile.
I accept the gift of the roadside decorator. And I pass that gift along to you. Happy Holidays to you all!