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A Christmas Message from the End of the Road

by Delusions of Grandeur 5 months ago in Secrets · updated 18 days ago
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Have a Merry Merry Christmas

A Christmas Message from the End of the Road
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Once upon a time, there was a Christmas Party, at the end of a road…

Where the road meets the railroad tracks. It was a road to nowhere, really...

But on the other side of the road, about a stone's throw distance away, there was a busy community: with markets, and traffic, and all these rules...

So that, in the bleakness of these two worlds separated by the railroad, there was this one social gathering...

Which happened to be against the rules, slightly. And it may have defied the vaccine 'etiquette', to an extent. And it was perhaps a secret, more or less — a secret not delivered by a carrier-pigeon; nor a horse chase; nor was it delivered by a drone...

Instead, it was spread by word of mouth. In fact, it came straight from the neighbours’ house!

It was also hand-delivered to our house, in the form of notice: a leaflet, with instructions to the location of a secret gathering where a party was to be held. It would be hosted by the neighbours — the next-door neighbours, that happened to be even closer than we were to the railroad tracks. We lived here at the end of the road, where the tracks cut us right off from the rest of the town...

I honestly believe it was a bit of a slight; or even an ex-communication, of a sort. Or perhaps it could even be construed as a banishment? Either way, it most certainly involved a certain directive, carried out by someone in authority; perhaps it went up as high as the mayor? Even still, I kind of liked it; for, it brought a sense of peace and serenity to this little local. And on a very cold day (like tomorrow would bring), there would hardly be a single car passing through...

So, when I read the invitation, on the leaflet (which was rather written more like that of a behest) — but written well, in plain ol’ English — that our block should get together and mingle, in secret, at the end of the road, in true Christmas spirit, on the day after the morrow — you can imagine my delight! There would be a fire-pit, complete with a hearth; music; and drinks! It was a notice that had all of the spirit, joy, and fun, that could possibly come about from this very sore year. Another Covid year over was the tune that continued to play on and on, after all. But it was nearly Christmas now, the Grinch wouldn't dare come near?

Lo and behold, it was even a White Christmas Party too! The snowflakes rained down in all their glory, and continued to settle all around us throughout the night; they were like those ‘medals' of the Orders of Canada as they fell on everyone’s hats and shoulders; and it was somewhat like ‘Who-ville’, with everyone gathered around the warmth of the fire. The dry logs crackled and emanated the perfect amount of heat so that the snow around the center of the fire soon melted, and the resulting ring around the fire served to outline where our toes would keep warm. And our toes would get cold indeed! Periodically, throughout the night, we’d gather around the pit where the snow was melted — like a hearth around a fireplace — and warm ‘em frozen toes! For this reason (and to prevent from going in and out of the house), a billet of wood would be dumped into the fire, to keep it going strong.

But when the blaze grew just a bit too fierce, we’d step back again from the hearth, and likewise away from the brilliant heat. The smoke would billow out, just the same, and the smoldering logs would penetrate the fabric that lined our winter coats; so that, when we did skip back home (if for a brief moment, to top up our drinks, and better warm our toes) — our clothing ranked profusely, and the stench filled all the rooms within our little home. Needless to say, we didn’t care all that much — for the sheer delight brought on by the smell of firewood, mixed together with our drinks, was very much worth the trouble to wash it out the following day.

We could not see the stars with the giant snowflakes coming down now — but someone hung up Christmas lights, all along the back fence where the road was closed for the train to pass through. We gathered and drank, and shared stories. In fact, the occasion was marked with plenty of story-telling and celebration. We plodded around the deep snow that blanketed the whole street until we finally spotted just a single moving car that whole night!

At length, I chatted with a man from New York City, who had come all this way to Who-ville, as one might follow the rail and train hop. He was, in fact, waiting for his papers to come through so that he could stay here a while longer. He very much enjoyed it here, at the end of the road. Perhaps the Grinch was looking his papers over, far off, and up in the mountains somewhere. But on this very night, at the end of the road, he didn’t come down to spoil the fun for any of us.

"And a very Merry Merry Christmas / And a Happy New Year / Let’s hope it’s a good one / Without any Fear"


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