Posted by Dr. Uncle Mark (with the Niece and Nephew) on December 22, 2000 at 13:08:19:
The white crust provided enough reflection from the clouded moon, so that Dr. Uncle Mark, the niece and nephew could see well enough to walk through the six or more inches of white snow. A light snow was falling and as the three stopped, the crunch of the snow quieted. Hannah and Hiram had learned enough from their Uncle to be completely silent and stop when he stopped.
Dr. Uncle Mark, dressed in breechclout, leggins, moccassins, several long shirts, his 60th Royal American coat, tricorn and scarf, gestured toward the edge of the woods. Hannah's and Hiram's eyes grew wide as they watched six deer, one of them with antlers, raise their heads, watch for a few seconds, then dash off following the edge of the forest before turning onto a small trail.
"Nature is full of genius, full of the Divinity, so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand," murmured Dr. Uncle as he reached out his mittened hand to catch several large snowflakes. The niece and nephew thought a bit, then Hannah said, "Dr. Uncle, that is a pretty thought."
"Well, I wish I could take credit. But, that was written by a man more than 100 years ago; a man named Henry David Thoreau. He enjoyed nature just as much as we do."
The three adventurers walked some more, skirting the edge of the woods. There was no talking and only the scuff, scuff and crunch of their footware could be heard. At times Dr. Uncle Mark would point out deer tracks in the snow; and once Hiram got caught in a small drift and Dr. Uncle and Hannah had to pull him out. Their laughter at this event was muted, but the joy and unbounded vitality in their hearts was great, even as the snow began to fall faster.
Dr. Uncle Mark loved these times which he shared with his niece and nephew. They were times when they learned the old ways, the ways of nature, and forged relationships with their Uncle which would last long after he was gone to his reward. Dr. Uncle Mark knew that what he was nurturing within his Hannah and Hiram was his legacy to them.
The three turned toward the faint lights of the house on the hill where the mother and father had hot chocolate waiting for them. As they approached, Dr. Uncle Mark stopped once more, the niece and nephew stopping as expected. Kneeling between them, he pointed to a star, bright, even through the falling snow. "It's the Star, my wee ones. The Star from the Bethlehem story."
Hannah and Hiram nodded their heads. Quiet, for several minutes, the three were lost in their own thoughts: the Babe, the animals by the manger, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, angels and wise men. Dr. Uncle Mark gave them a quick hug, then took their hands and led them quickly out of the heightening snowstorm into the warmth and bright glow of the house. But, it seemed, that a whisper of voices came to them before they left that winter land of swirling snow; whispers of the Chronicles characters, whispers to Dr. Uncle Mark, the niece and the nephew:
"May each snowflake sparkle with a Christmas wish for you. Pax Aye, Dear Ones!"
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