The Christmas Lights of Rocky Mount Are Turning On

Returning from the mountains after Thanksgiving with family, I could hardly wait for daughter Claire to turn on my street knowing my neighbors on either side would have finished their Christmas decorating. Absolutely beautiful, AGAIN! My autumn wreath still on the door looked finished for the season. The cull-de-sac street is short, no traffic, tucked away, so few will see all their efforts. Yet, in the spirit of Christmas past and present, Americans have started early and with purpose to light up the dark with tiny lights and love.

Though it cost people dearly at the gas pump, and in the grocery, they traveled. I lost count of how many freshly cut Christmas trees strapped on the top of cars drove down the mountain back home. The restaurants in Boone, NC were filled. The streets crowded with people sauntering past the shops, bags in hand, some with excited children reacting to the Christmas decorations and filled windows.

I hope your Thanksgiving and this Advent threshold we cross today, which is meant to be a time of preparation, brings renewed resolve to make the little piece of heaven we are to watch over a better place. Look at all the fabulous things happening in Rocky Mount, NC. We have Preservation, Restoration and Repurposing going on. We have amazing residential architecture in need of rescuing that is lighting up along Rose Street and other historical districts within walkable distance of Main Street. Best of all are the faithful, hard-working, dedicated people downtown who are revitalizing Main Street and beyond. We have obstacles with City Council leadership whose expiration date has expired. Only replacing them in this next election will reveal the resolve that taxpayers mean serious business. Enough is enough!

The mention of our leadership problems is a jarring contrast to the beautiful, wreathed doors, the lights of a tree through a window, the jolly Santa blow-up, the magnolia and holly greens and red berries in the window boxes. It is our loved ones, dear friends, memories, traditions, family who have crossed the River Jordan that we remember. It is the fun of finding the right gift for the right person, a bargain, the long looked for gift suddenly found. There is the fire in the fireplace with nutcrackers on the mantle, it is a quiet moment when we stand alone before the tree when our lives have meaning, and we are grateful beyond measure. It is not the doggy business or those who make us angry and frustrated that prevail, but the lights of Christmas, kneeling on Christmas Eve singing, Silent Night. It is what we miss and our blessings now that fill this holy time of year. No one can take this from us, no matter how hard they try. Rocky Mount is filled with the best people who must remember to draw a large circle to include everyone. Together, let all of us sing in the Rocky Mount Christmas program of the love of the Christ Child, born in a manger who brings peace and good will to all.

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