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Like a Bubble

I am so happy right now. I mean, down to my bones happy.

It is December. Decorations are up around the house - maybe a little more than usual, because I'm just in such a happy state. Our Christmas tree is gorgeous. It is a magic tree, I feel pretty certain. It usually takes going to three or four places til we find a good tree. Too dry, not big enough ... you know.

We headed out and at our very first place, there it was. We hadn't even given more than a cursory glance to any of the other trees, and there it was, leaning up against some others.

That can't be right, I told my partner. The first one we look at? We yanked at it to see if the needles would fall. Nope, not a one. Looked all around it. A little thin on one side, but that would make it easier, since we put it in that corner anyway ...

It is set up now, perfect. Lights, from trunk to tip. Ornaments we've collected over our 22+ years together. Many of them are ornaments by, about, or for, our children. Ornaments from when I was pregnant. When they were born. Pipe cleaner and construction paper ornaments they made.

It really is a wonderful tree.

This year, I think my favorite ornament is one of the most simple. It's a clear glass ball, with a tiny bit of iridescence to it. It looks like a soap bubble. Not just any soap bubble. You know how right before it bursts, a bubble will get even more shimmering and delicate? Yes, that's what this ornament looks like.

It is my favorite because it symbolizes what I know all too well. That happiness is ephemeral, fleeting.

Right now, my parents, my siblings, my children, my husband, my best friends -- all are healthy.

This is such an amazing, fundamental blessing. It will not last. How could it?

I have a profession I love. Partner is loving his job. Kids are doing well this year, as they learn and negotiate exactly who they are.

The soap bubble floats upward. It grows thinner. But maybe this will be the year when it stays a bubble, when it doesn't find some other home somewhere else. Instead, it floats away. Beautiful, perfect, whole.

Delicate, fragile. This ornament is glass, but compared to the soap bubble, it is hardy. I blink, and it's still there, sparkling under the Christmas tree lights.


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