Today Dionysus is perched on the top of the Christmas tree pretending to be an ornament. Her dragon scales glisten the deepest black and blue like plumes of an exotic bird. She sees me and flutters down.
“Did you get your gift shopping done?”
“No,” I said with oh-so-tired-of-shopping despair in my voice.
“I can’t make up my mind on what to get my sisters and its almost Christmas.”
“What did you get them last year?” She said.
“I can’t remember.” I said.
“There is a good chance they’d have to jog their memory too.”
“What does that tell you?” Dionysus looked at me inquisitively.
“I didn’t get them a good gift; I didn’t spend enough?”
Dionysus rolled her eyes, her velvety lashes bat up and down.
“Hmmm…” She said. Her long elegant claws thumbing her cheek.
“Have I taught you nothing of the spirit of the Tao, Buddha, Jehovah, Torah?”
“The gift is the moment.”
“You humans think the monetary value of the gifts dictates the measure of love.”
“But the gift is the token, and in the moment it is given so completes the heart connection. It is the offering where heart meets heart. That it is where the true spirit of love resides.”
“I remember.” I said, “But I need to get them something thoughtful they will like above all things. My stomach is in knots. I haven’t seen them in so long and again we won’t be together for Christmas.”
Dionysus suddenly jumped up from her place at my feet to land near the back door.
“Go put on something very warm to wear.” She instructed.
“Okay, but why?” I asked.
“Just get your coat and step outside.”
I did as she instructed. I always do what she says. Outside she nudged me to stand away. Suddenly, the ground shook and there I was standing under her. She now was the size of a small plane. She reached down. I felt her breath and long fangs teeth dig into the back of my collar and I was plunged up into in the air and landed on her back.
“Hold on!” She purred with clenched teeth.
Like a Phoenix Dionysus rose up into the black starry night with me as her rider. The cold wind cut into my cheeks as we flew high above the blanket of lights below. Then in a flash we were on the ground with a huge, Pahrump! I was at the entrance gates of my sister and brother in law’s house in Kentucky. I slid off Dionysus back and stood there looking at the house at the end of the road with the Christmas tree lights twinkling through the window.
“But they aren’t expecting me.”
Dionysus nudged me from behind to move down the path. Suddenly my feet obeyed my heart and I began to run. As I approached to knock I looked back and
Dionysus was gone. I knocked and as the door opened my sisters, suddenly we were a trio again.
In a sudden burst of happiness, they cried, we cried together. We all hugged and danced with excitement for hours.
I could hear Dionysus in my ear “Cherish the moment and this is the gift. Hold on to it in your heart.”
That’s the Christmas Spirit.