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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Valley Rise Christmas--Day Two



Last time, in Hearts Unfold we saw Emily Haynes preparing her house in anticipation of Christmas with family heirloom decorations, honoring traditions established through the years by her parents.  Today we meet Stani Moss, who has known little or nothing of tradition and yet recognizes the beauty and mystery of the Christmas Eve celebration without understanding its meaning.


Tuning out the conversation in the front seat, he turned his thoughts ahead to the rehearsal tomorrow afternoon.  Robert would drive him to the church where he was scheduled to play for midnight Mass, immediately following the radio broadcast on Christmas Eve.  The evening would be hectic, he knew, but he never turned down the opportunity to perform in a church.  He had played in cathedrals and synagogues, churches and chapels.  The same sense of intimacy, no matter the size of the building, lent a unique depth to his performance, which he had never been able to attain in a concert hall.
Stani especially looked forward to this event.  From that first Christmas Eve Mass at St. Patrick's, just after they'd moved to New York, he'd had a fascination with this particular celebration.  Jana had taken him, her one venture back to her childhood religion.  The pungent-sweet smell of cedar, and the glow of hundreds of candles, along with the glorious music, made a profound impression upon him.  He'd become curious for the first time as to what motivated so many people to come, year after year, to sing the same hymns and whisper the same prayers.  He hadn't pursued religion; it didn't fit into his already over-scheduled young life.  But he’d discovered performing in churches evoked the same emotions he’d experienced that night.  He found himself looking forward to the prospect of spending another Christmas Eve among people who came to greet a child they believed had forever altered the nature of man.  It would be a welcome change from the faceless crowds in dim, smoke-filled rooms, crowds which seemed to be drawing him farther and farther from his own humanity.

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