penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.


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This morning I opened the third door in my advent calendar and found…blood.

In our Northern country, we have a certain expectation that there will be a white Christmas.  And so, there is a great deal of excitement at our house when it snows in December.  This morning we awoke to find the ground covered in enough white stuff to make it worth playing in.

My middle son – who has all the big, goofy instincts and mannerisms of a Labrador Retriever puppy – got himself dressed up in all his winter gear and headed out into the yard to play. My daughter soon followed. I could see them both happily shovelling both our driveway and the neighbours. I was happy they were helping out.

I turned back to wrestling my youngest into his jacket (he would have rather played inside where it was warm).  Suddenly the screaming started. It was high pitched and painful. The kind of screaming that makes you think of a small animal being murdered.  I quickly pulled on my boots and ran outside.

And there was my son kneeling on the ground, eyes shut tight, mouth open screaming terribly. And blood in the snow all around him.

The scarlet of the blood on the snow was spectacular in its intensity.  And there was so much of it.  All I could think of was Snow White, skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood.  I turned to my daughter and yelled at her, asking “What the heck happened?” And all she could say was that she was sorry, over and over again.

We managed to make it inside, and after we cleaned up my son and asked him a few questions, we realized that it wasn’t as bad as we thought.  Just a rather intense nose bleed brought on by having his head shoved into the ground when his sister jumped on him.  Nothing broken.  In other words – a regular day at our house.

But the stark image of blood on the snow has stayed with me, shaken me.  It has made me think about blood on the rocks, two thousand years ago. A mother looking up at a cross and weeping, unable to save her son.

Christmas is only the beginning of her journey to that terrible day.


Written by pennyinacastle

December 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm

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