Ever wonder whats happening at Higher Ground?
A new years' confession: Some years ago, after what seemed to me to be a particularly
harrowing, overcharged, neck-spasming, tooth-clenching Christmas season at Higher Ground, one where I felt soulfully stampeded by renegade reindeer and left for dead under a mountain of clinging tinsel, I stayed behind after hours one day in late December to "clean up." I'm not proud of the catharsis that followed and I hope heaven doesn't include video playbacks of such moments but I've rarely felt more cleansed than the dusk when I crammed what seemed to be infinite pillowed Santas and stuffed grinning elves, bulbs, balls, bells and a giant battery-operated wise man who shimmied into any container I could find, marched them to our attic and bitterly dumped the lot into the nearest empty floor space. The chunk of the battery falling out of the Wise Man's flexible spine was particularly gratifying.
I saved the tree for last. I did not remove the tinsel, lights or a single ornament. In my groove of righteous fatigue and self-pity, I knew I wouldn't possibly be around another year to deal with this mess so I lugged the artificial little tree upstairs and chucked it into a raftered corner to live out the next 350 or so dark, hot days. Crash, tinkle, tinkle. Lights. Slam!
350 or so days later, I was still here. I mounted the steps. I found the crumpled tree in the
corner. I carried it downstairs and straightened its limbs. I plugged it in. It lit up like love. It whispered, Love is patient, Mark. Love is kind.... It keeps no records of wrongs.... It always hopes, always perseveres. The tree blinked, and I blinked, too.
Then I went back up for the stupid wise man.