Click above to listen to my arrangement of Silent Night as you read. This track is from 2009 Best Holiday Album December Peace (ZMR Awards, winning over Enya and Yo-Yo Ma). If you enjoy, please consider sampling and ordering the CD, MP3 Album or sheet music. You can also listen and download on iTunes and all other digital outlets.
This story is from 31 Days of December Peace (soft cover or eBook). Also available from Amazon Kindle, iTunes, and other e-Readers.
Where could you use some “December Peace” today?
Silent Night Beneath the Light ~ by Joe Colavito, (Copyright 2012, Joe Colavito, not to be re-published without permission)
Peaceful. Content. Joyful. Free. Mesmerized. Filled with a deep sense of wonder and awe.
These words reflect the emotions connected to one of my favorite childhood memories… sitting beneath the street light in front of our home, admiring the endless parade of snowflakes as they emerged from the darkness and entered into the light. The combination of the delicate flakes dancing in the wind and landing without a sound brought me peace.
To this day, when I hear the song Silent Night I can close my eyes and find myself transported back to that sacred place. I can see the individual flakes. I can remember what it felt like when a flake landed on my eyelashes or nose instead of my tongue as I sought to enjoy a frozen treat. It was a peaceful place of solitude and silence where I could get lost in time and thought. I spent hours watching snowflakes fall.Looking back now, I realize how rare an occasion it was for me to sit still as a boy. I was an active kid, always on the run. What was it about that scene that drew me back so often? That kept me silent and still?
Although I was oblivious to my connection with the Creator of the heavens and the earth as a child, today I am convinced that my overwhelming sense of wonder and joy was born beneath that street light. It’s as if God was calling me to experience a silent night, to sit alone with him, to leave the cares of this world (you know the tough stuff like 3rd grade math and watching TV) behind me. I have no doubt that I under-appreciated the silence, solitude and peace available beneath that street light. Fortunately I can still retrieve those moments of peace from my memory bank and relive them in my mind’s eye today from a far more grateful perspective.
When you think back upon your childhood, where did you experience December Peace? Can you close your eyes and go back to that sacred place? Take a moment and get lost in time today. Set some time aside to experience a silent night beneath the light.
Close your eyes. Travel back into your childhood memory bank. Who knows, you might just feel a snowflake or two hit your nose before you open your eyes. Peace be with you.
Judy Houle says
My favorite childhood memory was that of walking to the church after school where my dad pastored in Somerville, MA, after my mom went back to work to help with the family finances. He often would be with a parishioner who “stopped by for a minute” when I arrived, so I would walk into the sanctuary where it was peaceful. Our parsonage was a busy place: two older, active brothers, people in and out all the time – it was hard to find quiet at home.
Most days, the sun was in just the right position to filter through the round stained-glass window at the front of the building. The light would dance across the backs of the mahogany pews and I would sit, mesmerized as it changed while the earth’s movement slowly created new angles of light. The words of Matthew 11:28 were posted on the beams over the altar area: “Come to me all who labor…and I will give you rest.” I read and drank in those words of one of the first passages of Scripture I memorized as a child.
Those memories are as vivid as if they happened yesterday, even though it’s been 50 years since we lived there. The peace and joy that flood me in those moments are jewels in an otherwise busy life. Thank you for taking me back to this place today.
By the way, “Silent Night” is my favorite carol and I love to listen to and play your arrangement, Stanton!