Epiphany, in Five Trees

1. In a Carton

wine with treeIt’s a blustery Friday night, one week before Christmas. Outside, the wind whistles past the dining room windows while inside, cozy and warm, Steve and I sit across the table from one another, bellies full of delicious Lebanese take-out. It’s our first married Christmas, and after two years of whirlwind holiday traveling to Las Vegas (my family) and Oxford, England (his), it’s our first to be celebrated at home. Nearby, in the living room of our new house, a Christmas tree lies compressed in a large cardboard box, awaiting assembly and festive accoutrement. We pour second glasses of red wine, the Pinot catching the light from the chandelier above as I lift my glass. Steve smiles, offers a “Cheers” and a gentle clink. We sip and savor, share another smile.

And then each of us grabs one of the stacks of papers sitting in the middle of the table, and we begin the marathon push to complete end-of-semester grading. We’ll get to the tree tomorrow. Continue reading