Photo by Janet Wyatt
Talking to Myself Fifty-Four December 20, 2020
Christmas in a pandemic requires thought
and deliberation. My grandson, off at college,
has the deadly virus, though he’s not very
sick. In a family that doesn’t go to church,
he does, and he looks to me, who grew up
in the church, for comfort. I’ve given him
my Bibles and told him about his great
grandfather who was a minister, and about
his great, great grandparents who were
missionaries in China over a hundred\
years ago. Bobby wants to read their story,
which I have published in a book called
Grace: A China Diary, 1910-16. I’ve
wrapped it for his Christmas present.
We send emails. I may not see him at
Christmas, but there are many ways to
send and receive messages when your
society has fallen victim to a new plague.
I send cookies and books to my grandchildren
for whom I cared when they were babies.
For Lilly, who lives nearby, I’m giving the
activist anthology Impact, where I appear
fighting the dumping of coal ash in my
community. For me emails arrive, some
cards and gifts. I make cookies and so does
my helper Janet, from recipes I take out
every Christmas. Familiar tastes and smells
in our cold, dark days to throw a little
light, a little love, a solemn thankfulness
that we are still alive.