The other day I wrote about the silence that follows the snow in Carmine. A friend stopped me in the street a day or two later and amid elaborate Italian Christmas greetings mentioned that my words had made her laugh, because in Carmine Superiore she imagined it was always silent. We talked a little about that special silence that comes after the snow, and about how Carmine isn't as silent as one might think, what with the wildlife crashing around the woods and all.
Our conversation made me remember the silence that would come on Christmas morning (with or without snow) when I was a child. No cars. No rushing too and fro. No buses, no bells, no siren for the start of work at the nearby factory that gave our town life. Peace for a day.
Today I'm wishing all readers a quiet and very happy Christmas, however you have chosen to celebrate it. And if I could give everyone a gift, I would give peace. The kind of peace that is not only silence without, but also silence within. The peace that brings the strength to face every passing day whatever it might bring. Real peace. The peace described so simply in the Gaelic blessing:
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the gentle night to you,
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Happy Christmas all!