O Joyful… O Holy…

Mood: joyful, joyful…

Weather: cold and windy, light intermittent snow…

Reading: verses of John of the Cross

Listening To: O Holy Night by Josh Groban

Tonight was a glorious evening, though also unremarkable in its way. It held manifold wonders within a seeming mundane passage of time.

Ah me, I wonder if I am too much enamored of seeking the miraculous within the ordinary to describe it with any impartiality – or whether such illusory objectivity holds any significance… objective, in my utter subjectivity.

So… after our usual Friday meal of Pizza & Root Beer, we all bundled up for a night on the town. Though we had only the most frivolous of endeavors, it was an instance devoted more to the going itself than the reason for going.

Annapolis is simply beautiful during the Winter, especially as Christmas draws near.

The local civic government combines forces with the area businesses to adorn every path and back-alley with seasonal greenery and sparkling adornment.

Such garnishment to a town that already possesses its own stately grandeur combines for an overall aesthetic of elegance and gaiety.

My favorite parts of town are all the hidden backstreets down around the Church Circle to City Dock vicinity. The old world charm of the cobblestone roads and colonial-era shops makes even the most familiar denizen feel as though they are in a different time or place.

We parked down along the City Dock and walked over to our local purveyor of overpriced bean water. While my wife chatted with her coworkers and the children played in the coffee shop, I stepped outside to take a few pictures. In so doing, I was approached by a man asking for something to eat.

This brought to mind the strange incongruity I have noticed over this last quatrain of the year we have spent in Queen Anne`s city… that there should be so many of incredible affluence within a close proximity of those of desperate scarcity. There is one neighborhood in particular where a “housing project” is separated from an exclusive “gated community” by only a thin grove of woods that runs the length of the demarcation.

Even in our own middle-class neighborhood, there is an amusing contrast between the “blue collar” residents of my street and the decidedly “white collar” residents just one street over, but I digress…

I bought the man a substantive meal at a nearby restaurant and gathered up my family as we began our meandering around Downtown.

Candace, Gaelynn, and Sophia spent more of the time in and out of the various shops and bookstores, while my son and I entertained ourselves out-of-doors.

We talked with a Footman for one of the many horse-drawn carriages that gallivant around, and Israel shyly asked “Winter” (a beautiful white Draft mare) if she was cold…

…with good reason. A bitter Nor`easter is broiling out in the distant Sea, freezing the wet coastal air, creating a curious icy mist that hangs like a shroud over the smoking chimney rooftops.

Though it might yet be the relative sparkle of moving to a new vastly different place, I cannot help but think that Annapolis is the sort of town where one might live a long time and hardly begin to unearth its native wonders.

Not merely in the cultural baubles of historic pretensions or consumerist vacillation, but in the strange mixtures of hedonism and discipline, tradition and trend, prominence and irrelevance, well heeled and roughshod, ambitious and shiftless, bookish and earthy… and the people! O me, the people!

We walked late into the evening, as the children`s strides grew shorter and their eyelids heavier. Though we had barely made it half as far as our original intent, we had spent so much time in perusing amusement that the hour was well past the children`s bedtimes.

Driving home, my beloved and I spoke in hushed tones over the gentle snorings of our wee ones.

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