A Christmas Miricle

July 23, 2013
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I lay placid for a minute or 2 longer, enjoying the ephemeral tranquility.

3… 2… 1…

I find myself under the attack of a frenetic, little terrorist by the name of Felicity. Swiftly, I encage this giggling, pint sized monster within the confines of my embrace, and pull my little sister close. She nuzzles her head into the crook of my salt soaked neck, her fiery curls cling to my damp chest. She too, is slick with perspiration.

“Make a wish”, I breathe into her perfect pixie-like ear. She closes her flawless little eyes, allowing her thick, ebony eyelashes to paint my collarbone, “I wish, I wish it would snow.”

Lici has made that exact same wish every year since she discovered the existence of snow. Hugging her tightly, I feel her tiny form relax; her endless supply of energy becomes dormant as she slips into her own imaginings.

The sigh that manages to escape my lips, deflates my lungs. My wish: to make hers come true. I hear of the abundance of Christmas miracles all the time, however, it would take more than a Christmas miracle to give Lici the white Christmas she longs for while we still live in South Africa.

The rhythmic breathing of my dreaming sister coaxes my willing lids into submission with the benign promise of blissful unconsciousness. What feels like seconds later, I’m exiled, banished back to reality. The feverish heat and a throat like sand paper are the guilty culprits.

Flinging my legs from the sleeping softness, I drag myself out of bed, gingerly applying weight to my legs of jelly. An over-sized glass of icy water is a munificent prospect: a cure, though temporary, to my melting symptoms. My still sleeping muscles labour with the simple task of stretching, popping in protest. Moisture coats my lashes as I attempt and fail to stifle an audible yawn.

Opening my eyes again is almost a chore, but it is worth the reward of seeing my precious little munchkin, lost in slumber with her head on my sticky shoulder, completely content with life. A single thought is nagging for my attention like a tenacious fly begging for a swiftly executed swat.

My clouded mind tries to process the incongruous sight before me. There is my sister mumbling something unintelligible as she sleeps soundly using my moist shoulder as a pillow. There I am beside her, snoozing peacefully, acutely unaware of this anomaly.

There I am in bed, yet, simultaneously, here I am watching myself sleep. It is almost as if my consciousness has detached itself from my body.

I stumble from my room, through the double doors that lead into my meticulously cared for garden, in search of some much needed fresh air. Only to be slammed through a wall of suffocating heat. I make my way to the bottom of the garden breathing deeply in order to try and tame my racing heart. This can’t be happening! It’s impossible!

And yet…

I come to a halt beside a small spring, collapsing on its banks. The trickling melody of the water, as it skims over and winds between the glossy pebbles, is soothing to my ears. I can’t help but smile at the ethereal effect created by the way in which the light from the full moon dances on the liquid crystal surface of the clear water.

I allow my eyes to close, concentrating on the merciful relief brought by submerging my polished toes within the pool’s resplendent, benevolent depths.

“Refreshing isn’t it?”

With a start, I scramble to my feet and lose my balance in my haste. The splash does not come however, as a pair of well-toned, muscular arms catch me before I could take the airless plunge. My chest rising and falling in rapid succession as I fight for air, my entire body is trembling from the unexpected adrenaline rush.

“I didn’t mean to startle you,” my rescuer offers apologetically.

His voice is kind, gentle and concerned, while still managing to be knee-weakeningly deep. He helps me to my feet, which gives me the opportunity to fully take in the man that came to my aid. The man that seems to have materialized out of thin air. All 6 ft. of the most mesmerizing man I have ever laid eyes on. Describing the details of this man’s appearance evades me as they are constantly evolving. He seems to be flickering between young and old. The one thing that remains constant is his eyes. They seem to hold centuries of secrets and limitless wisdom within their emerald depths.

I try to thank the mysterious stranger for breaking my fall, only to find I am lost for words. An amused smile plays across his tempting lips.

“I’m Trent,” he says, “You probably know me as Santa Claus”

I raise a single eyebrow in disbelief.

“I am also Father Time, the Easter Bunny and Cupid”. Noticing how my voice continues to fail me, he continues, “I heard your wish earlier and am willing to make it happen.”

“Really?” I gasp in amazement.

Chuckling at my reaction he says, “Found your voice I see. Yes, I will make it snow exclusively around your house every Christmas from here on out, on one condition.”

I should have known there would be a catch.

“You come with me and become my Mrs. Claus, after your 18th birthday, you would also become the Tooth Fairy and Mother Nature.”

Not quite knowing how to react to this ultimatum, I ask the first question that comes to mind, “Why me?”

“It’s a very long story, I’ll be happy to explain later if you agree to my proposal.”

My sister’s image compels my head to nod essentially signing over the rest of my life. Why does it feel so right, fill me with such joy to see his entire being light up? It’s not just his persona though. Divine light seems to be emanating from his every pore. Getting brighter and brighter, until I am forced to clamp my eyes shut as tightly as I can for fear of blindness.

As abruptly as Trent appeared, the blinding light fades into darkness. My lashes flutter and part, revealing my room bathed in an early morning glow. Disappointment grips my heart. It was only a dream. A magnificent, glorious, unsettlingly realistic dream, but a dream none the less.

As all traces of exhaustion drain away, I become aware of the icy chill that has replaced the seemingly relentless heat. Reaching for my duvet, I become aware of another oddity: Lici is gone.

Panic encapsulates all logic, frantically I fly out of bed, only to discover she is standing by the window. Her eyes are shining, as wide as dinner plates; she is completely awestruck by the view before her. A single tear blooms and spills down her rosy cheek. One word is all she utters.

One word is all it takes: “SNOW!”

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