That first year I was Orthodox,
I was in law school too
(it's true men become religious when they are frightened enough ...);
and there I was at Christmas in sultry L.A.;
no tree and no presents;
no energy and no time.
This is not how Christmas is done!!!
But there were special candles in my neighbor's windows,
behind the smoggy haze;
it was dark early and a bit cool in the days,
and a benediction settled down on me and the mute lights:
the behemoth of Christmas passed us by, but not the Spirit.
There are corners of the world
where people sit and rest
avoiding public prayer
and public fest.
The spirit of the season
cannot wait till Christmas time.
It must follow us through life and death
whatever our background or our troubles or our crimes.
There is a Way
to follow, every day.