For Those Who Can’t Sleep
He enters the world through the forest at midnight.
The fir trees hold their emerald dresses aside to let him pass while the snowy owl watches from a hiding place atop the slowly swaying branches.
A silent wind ruffles his fur.
He leaves behind paw prints of diamonds and silver and the white light of his passing passes over the face of the fox and the hare like a blessing.
He nods his fair head and, far beyond view, the stars start to tumble, changing their colours to red, green and gold as they land on the spruce trees and light up the dark.
Somewhere snowflakes dance.
Somewhere hope awakens.
He is the most magical of all the sweet twelve, the one who brings joy and lightness of heart.
He paints the holly berries crimson. He hangs a wreath upon the wooden door.
His icy breath is scented with chestnuts and pine and he’s hungry for gingerbread, cocoa and fudge.
His is the laughter we hear in the sleigh bells, his is the song that we sing in the choir.
He stands guard over our memories, and makes our dreams manifest no matter our age.
The spirit of Christmas forever journeys alongside him, this great champion of fellowship, peace and goodwill.
There might still be time to be there to greet him,
for those who can’t sleep or who wish hard enough.
So, grab your red coat and your warmest green mittens
and I’ll meet you in the most ancient forest as the clock strikes twelve.
He is December.
He arrives tonight.
Painting above by Theodor Severin Kettelsen