“When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?
Write about that moment….”
Spolier alert: If you still believe in Santa Claus you might want to skip this post.
He’s making a list
Checking it twice
My younger brother, Michael, and I listened to Christmas records in our paneled den. It was December 1970. I was four years old.
Mom folded laundry in her bedroom. I went to pester her with questions, a daily, sometimes hourly ritual.
“Mommy, is there really a Santa Claus?”
“Yes.” She kept folding our plaid pants.
“Does he keep a list?”
“But, how does he know?” I cocked my head to the side, crinkling my nose in doubt.
“Know what?” She looked at me, confused.
“If I’m naughty or nice?” I shrugged.
“He just knows.”
“But how, mommy?” I stepped closer to her.
“Maybe he makes a crystal ball out of snow?” She’d gleaned that from the newest Christmas TV special.
“Oh.” I rocked back and forth on my feet.
“How does he get the toys to Mikey, and me, and all the other kids? And do the reindeer really fly? How come I’ve never seen’em?” The questions tumbled out.
“You’re sleeping when they come.”
“But how does Santa get in?” I held my palms up. We didn’t have a chimney.
“The front door.”
“You leave it open?” I paused. She was folding pajamas they’d given us last Christmas. I put my hands on my hips. “Mommy, does a man dressed in a red suit bring us presents or do you and daddy?”
“Okay, it’s your dad and I. But if you tell your brother, I’ll kill ya!” She caved, refusing to lie to my direct question.
“Are you the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy too?” She sighed and nodded returning to a pile of towels.
I bounced up and down. I was right. It was a fairy tale. I knew a secret. And I’d figured it out all by myself.
#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.