Children at Christmas

Last Christmas Eve I was at St. John the Divine in New York, somber Gothic cathedral with rather surreal, arty giant puppets and earnest, intellectualized service. This year, a modest California parish with a simple deep sweetness, radiant with red ribbons and candles, and two little girls dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy. One of them, fresh from a growth spurt, wobbled like a colt as her joints and long bones tried to figure out where they were in relation to each other. As always at Christmas, I thought of my children: the ones I lost, and, this year, the unexpected blessing of the ones I found.

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