by Erin Venuti ’20
With each Christmas season, the sky descends upon the earth, sprinkling the world with stars. As she drives through town, she passes constellations on either side of the road — berries of light growing in gardens, golden icicles draped from roofs, the curious, childlike flicker of a candle in the window. In the town center, the elms disappear and are replaced by spirals of yellow, narrow where the trunk should be and blossoming outward as far as the branches might stretch.
The radio sings quiet carols and she can’t help but listen in silent awe. She’s seen 21 Christmases and for each one she’s been a different person: an infant, still wrapped in swaddling clothes herself; a girl with a toothy grin and a bow, eager to see what Santa will bring tonight; a young woman, simply grateful to be home. But the lights are always the same, the same houses, the same bushes, the same trees. They’ve come to remind her, even on the coldest nights, the lights will still shine.