CHRISTMAS RAIN: A POEM In the year’s dying days, rainfall once again is falling, failing to freeze and become snow. So… no white Christmas again this year, just the falling, failing rain. As silent, I overheard you say, as a Christmas suicide. What a chilling line. I know it hurts your soul, this ceaseless raining on the town and on the fields of forest trees raised for the season, spruce and cedar, pine and fir, grown to be cut down. No sooner born than dying, you said, and reminded us again, lest we forget, about the ill, and indigent, and those afraid to be alone. Well yes, we must do what we can but it also must be said, those trees die in the cause of life: faith and hope and charity friends and fun and family hymns and prayers and superfluity of food and drink and gifts. And now, whatever we might think, it’s time to loop bright pearls of light and tinsel round the waiting bough, to decorate its needle-leaves, hang bauble globes of colour from its stalky branches, and top off the confection with a sharply-pointed star. Then to step outside into the sodden air and join the heaving crowds to add our input to the manic ring of goods and money changing hands. I am not blind to what that brings, but, oh my dear, is it not also true that in the spangled homes, the valiant trees are letting loose their scent of pine and fir? And the weary world is waking to the light returning for another year? And look, can it be the rain is slowing, growing plump and white? Oh, let’s indulge the throb of hope. Let’s inhale, while we still can, the joy within the sparkly season’s glistening. Let’s taste the love that is contained in the illuminating rain.