As Christmas approached, it seemed that everywhere I turned, I ran into Joni Mitchell’s song “River.”
It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river to skate away on
The words fit my mood like a well-made pair of fine calfskin gloves, smoothed on without a wrinkle.
I could feel the cool air coming up off the ice, I could hear the soft scrape of my skate blades. I could even see my back in a long wool coat disappearing down the river into the darkness.
And in that silence to come close again to what is real and what matters. To hope to let myself feel the great sadness of living in constricted places and to stay in touch with that sadness just long enough to choose a more wide open space.