Yes, here it is MAY, and I finally burned the Christmas tree. Watching it burst into flames (it was kinda dry, do ya think?), there was a strange feeling that I got which burning any other tree would not have caused. What is it about Christmas, and Christmas trees, that on a warm beautiful May morning, it is so touching to watch one burn?
Let me explain. Each year we cut our own tree at a local tree farm. Traditionally we do this the weekend after Thanksgiving. Often it stis in our living room un-decorated for a number of weeks… just seeing the green and smelling the pine smell is enough.
Eventually I decorate it (and as the years go by, the decorations get more and more minimalist).
We take it down AFTER January 1st (we are not those Take Down the Tree December 26 kind of folks). One year I actually left it up until Valentine’s Day, but that’s another story. After it’s down, we put it out on our back patio for the winter because the birds like it there… they sit on it, occasionally build a nest in it in the spring, and we put bird food out around it. We can see it from our living room so it is something fun to watch.
Then, sometime in the spring – Usually March, we have a major BURNING party… well, not a party but you get the gist. I am the pyromaniac in the family so it gives me a thrill to set the tree and other assorted downed branches on fire.
This year, the burning party didn’t take place til last week. Very late. The grass was green, the trees in bud, the spring flowers out. And I was feeding a roaring hot fire. The last thing to go on the fire was the Christmas tree.
As I watched it crackle and flame, I felt the anticipation, joy, and sacredness of the Christmas season come back just for a few minutes. The tree was “giving up its life” for our pleasure, but seemed to do so with pride and joy and beauty. It was beautiful even as it burned, and it’s shape stood out among the other odd shaped limbs and branches. It stayed on the top of the burning, never rolling over, like a candle lit facing the sky.
I love spring. And can’t wait to get our Christmas tree again in December. The cycle of life.