One Wise King - NotTuesday, January 06, 2009
At least twice by the end of 2008 I wrote about melancholy, here and here. While much of that melancholy was dissipated by Christmas cheer it is back in full force as I contemplate on my Christmas tree on January 6, the Epiphany or as we know it in Latin America Los Tres Reyes Magos. I wrote about my personal relevance to the Epiphany here.
Even though I was 11 years old at my last Argentine Tres Reyes, the lazy and hot summer days and my being sent to some remote "camp" (as Anglo Argentines call the campo or pampa) , a place with a smooth, uninterrupted horizon and being forced (a good thing even though I was not aware then) to learn to make friends with people I had never met before.
The melting snow outside cannot cool the feeling of warmth and nostalgia that I have for the Epiphany and the terrible (then) gifts of useless wooden toys that Eva Perón gave us on that day when all I wanted was an Erector set or an electric train.
Part of the allure is in the Spanish meaning of mago. A mago in Spanish is a magician. The three wise kings, los tres reyes magos, were magicians to us. All was possible if they intervened. I thought then that the little box of myrrh probably also contained a pristine white rabbit ready to jump out and delight the precocious newborn in that stable crib.
And of course that melancholy is further increased by having to remove the ornaments from the tree which we traditionally perform tomorrow. It's been up for what seems only a few days. But the tree has become my friend. Every time I come into the living room to write my blog I can smell with delight the scent of my Pseudotsuga menziesii or Douglas Fir.
But some of that melancholy has vanished as I found this picture which was our Christmas card for 1981. I took the picture in our Burnaby basement in November 1981 so Hilary (below, right) was 9 and Ale was 13. Our basement had a very low ceiling so I was forced to use a wide angle lens which made people in front look bigger than those in the back. That the whole family was present for Christmas Eve dinner 27 years later has to be something that even makes this melancholy man smile, if only for a short while.