Colorado Winter Scene

   Peace on Earth


The Christmas season of 1999 was spent in Italy.
It was a whirlwind of wonderful holiday images.

Venice dressed in her finest decorations, and filled with gifts of every sort. Bright Christmas lights were strung from the bridges, and throughout the streets. A small market was set up in one of the squares.

In the lovely town of Lucca, northwest of Florence we visited with two wonderful friends, who had both been art teachers in my grade school. Their influence on me was deep.  It was a remarkable day full of memories of my childhood, and the beautiful surroundings of the Tuscan hills. We shared a magnificent meal that went on for hours in their home, and soon it was time for the last train out of town.

Christmas Eve delivered a wonderful dinner then Midnight Mass at the Duomo in Florence. We were lost in the masses of people that attended, the huge church was packed with worshipers of all sorts. It was cold, and everyone kept their winter jackets on. There was the smell of mothballs from the women's furs, and incense from the altar, which drifted through the cathedral in waves. The service ended right in front of us, as the baby Jesus was delivered to his cradle in the manger. It was an impressive ceremony, and was very moving to be a part of.

Christmas morning was cold and rainy, we had a coffee, and wandered the empty streets. We happened upon a Christmas morning Mass in a small baroque church. It was a grand church with a very small congregation. It was quite beautiful in it's intimacy, and a great contrast to the huge crowds of the night before. 

In each church on our journey I lit a candle. It felt comforting, and connected me with the hundreds of generations that had performed this simple ceremony of faith and worship. It made me feel a connection with Christmas past, and the comfort that my feelings and concerns on that Christmas night had been shared by many others throughout the continuum of time.

My fondest wishes to all my friends, peace on Earth

Dana Morris

Links to some of the wonderful sites of Italy

Christmas Images

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