These days around Christmas I catch myself out how my thoughts wandering in the past. That’s not unusual for the time around Christmas but unusual for me, because I usually try to live in the presence.
Well, I remembered a Christmas Eve a long time ago. Maybe I was thirteen or fourteen. We had a lot of snow at this time. My parents who always cared for other people suggested to bring a bottle of champagne to an old lady, who had never been married and had lived alone the whole time of her life. So I brought the bottle wrapped up in gift wrap paper to the second next house, where the old lady lived in a small attic story. It was around four a clock and it started to get dark outside. She was surprised and a little bit irritated about my visit and invited me in.
All my life I have been able to estimate people and their moods, even as a boy. And so I felt directly when I was entering, that my well-meant visit was not only unnecessary but a disruption.
The small living-room was nicely decorated with burning candles and the Christmas tree had real burning candles too. In the midst of the room stood a little table with white table-cloth, silver cutlery laid beneath a plate. Something was boiling on the oven. The whole scenery emanated peace, silence and solemnity. The old lady was simply but fancy dressed as if she had expected some invited guests. Her whole appearance embodied her inner attitude. She was the cause of the solemn and peaceful atmosphere, which I had noticed a few seconds ago.
The pity of my parents for the old lonely woman was totally causeless, because she wasn’t alone at all and happy with herself and her memories. She had found peace with herself and her certainly not always easy life. Perhaps she was glad about my visit, that somebody thought about her, I don’t remember. I only stayed a view minutes but this old lady impressed me as a boy so deeply that I still can remember her today.