by Joan Clair

A friend of mine, a soul sister, always sends me a box of gifts for Christmas, gifts which always meet my needs and are, generally, very practical, like soap and socks. This Christmas in 2016, she went totally beyond herself into the psychic and spirtual realms.
A few weeks before receiving the box, I remembered a poem I wrote at the age of 15. I had never shared it with anyone, even my closest friends, at the time I wrote it. It goes as follows:
If you lived in a house frozen in ice:
a chalk mouse, a frozen dog,
and furniture, white flowers of idleness,
in the frozen pond of the living room?
One of the gifts in the box sent by my friend this year was the fairy tale, The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen. In this story, a little boy named Kai becomes separated from his best friend and becomes a prisoner in the castle of the Snow Queen. Everything in the castle is frozen in ice, and Kai’s heart becomes frozen as well.
The Snow Queen tells Kai that if he is able to put together some pieces of frozen ice on the floor of the castle to spell the word Eternity, he will be set free. He is finally able to do this after his friend finds him, and he feels her love melting his frozen heart.
I am now 75 years old, 60 years after I wrote that poem to which I had no answer or escape route at the time. The answer was and is outside of time in Eternity, which was and is my only real home, where I am loved.

Art by Vilhelm Pederson, a Danish artist who illustrated Hans Christian Andersen’s books.