Twas the night before Christmas and as I lay down in bed I sent out a Christmas prayer.
“Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present I plead with you this dark night lit only by the moon.
My Christmas wish tonight is not for gifts of gold and silver wrapped trinkets or sweet morsels to fill my mouth.
My Christmas wish tonight is not for earthly peace nor endless sunshine and cloudless skies.
No, my Christmas wish is a touch, a kiss, a warm embrace, the whisper of my name on breath long disappeared.
My Christmas wish is for the living and the spirits to meet once more, even for a few hours.
My Christmas wish is to tell those that left me how I loved them and how I missed their presence in my life.
My Christmas wish is to hear the sweet tinkling bells of their laughter and to feel the warmth of their smiles.
My Christmas wish is to tell them that though their spirits now walk this realm and the next, their love remains alive in my heart.
Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present I plead with you this dark night lit only by the moon.” As the moon disappeared behind veiled clouds of deep grey, I fell asleep with trickling rain dripping down my cheek.
It was not long and I heard a sound and felt a warm caress dry the rain’s tears from my cheek.
A voice bent down to my ear and whispered my name and I heard tinkling laughter coming from all corners of the room.
I slowly opened my eyes and looked to see what marvel had appeared in my room under the clouded sky.
There in a bed, covered up to the chin by a heavy blanket of death-white, lay a girl with a dried tear on her cheek.
Her hair was smooth and dark against the white of the pillow and her lips were bruised as if some kiss had longed to punish them.
I heard the tinkling laughter then and looked to my side and behind me.
There were ethereal specters there all around the bed of this lost girl.
The moon had disappeared but pale light shone through their shadowy forms.
I looked back at the girl wondering where I had seen her before.
One of these specters looked at me then for the first time and smiled a smile that embraced my soul in warmth and light.
The specter’s lips did not move but a low melodious sound came from him like a cello chasing the sound of light in a moonless night:
“We heard your Christmas plea little one. You did not ask for earthly peace nor endless sunshine and cloudless skies.
You did not ask for gold and silver wrapped trinkets or sweet morsels to fill your mouth.
Your Christmas wish was for the living and the spirits to meet once more.
So here we come, at your call and as you wished…all the spirits who loved you once and missed you long.”
But dear one the living must sacrifice life itself to walk with the spirits…Your sacrifice has been a tender gift for us this Christmas Past.”
Then he stretched out his hand and he touched mine.
I trembled in fear at his words and wished to take back my Christmas plea.
I had not wished to sacrifice life, what of all those I love this Christmas Present.
His hand went right through air and though I could feel his strong grasp, there was no hand to cling to in return.
I looked down again at the lost girl lying asleep in eternity and knew that my heart would ache to feel the tears of rain or light of the moon again.
No more endless sunshine nor cloudless skies for me. No earthly peace nor gifts of gold and silver.
No touch, no kiss, nor embrace, sweet laughter, nor whispers of my name.
These specters were only veils of what had been warm breath and soft laughter, shed tears and sweet memories.
The lost girl lay in bed as the clouded sky gave way to the all seeing eye of the morning.
All around I could hear carolers singing and in the house far away I could hear mother and father calling out “Merry Christmas.”
The lost girl did not stir. Christmas Eve had come and passed taking her with it.
I watched the two people I had once known as mom and dad come running in with gifts of gold and silver wrapped trinkets spilling forth from their embrace.
I saw the woman collapse to the floor before he could catch her and the sounds that poured forth from both pulled a veil over the sun, their misery was so great.
I knew then, looking at the ugly grief of the couple where I recognised that lost girl.
She had been this same specter once before when it breathed, laughed, hoped and loved.
I took one last glance at the lost girl and the grieving couple and I bent down and whispered my forgotten name in the woman’s ear.
She shivered at the sound of my whisper and glanced wildly around searching for that missing girl
I touched the man’s arm but he shook my touch off as if a cruel thing had pierced him.
The specter who had spoken so melodiously before beckoned me once more.
The other ethereal forms had drifted off as the moon had been swallowed by the morning.
He looked at me once again and his face showed pain so great and so forlorn:
“Come child, you are no more. Now you walk the realm with those who have gone before.”
Now I walk this realm and the next longing for a warm touch, a sweet kiss and shared laughter.
I visit all the homes of my loved ones each Christmas, silently coming in with the moonlight and leaving with the sun.
I am moonlight and stardust, wind and water but ancient spirit I remain.
Heed the wishes you make on Christmas night for twas a wish such as this that took my breath…
Heed the living and love the present for the realm of spirits leaves much to be attained…
Heed the Christmas wish that regrets the past, forgetting your gift of Now but love life lest you sacrifice it.
Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present keep your silence, the living seek you out…