It’s snowing strongly now, a complete whiteout this Christmas morning. I tremble to think of what would have happened had Mary tried to give birth in New England rather than Bethlehem. No manger or barn would have been adequate on a day like this morning, with the winds gaining, raising the chill.

I’m worried about the heavy tree limbs sagging behind the house, encased in ice from the ice storm 2 days ago. I tried to shake them loose yesterday, and quite a lot of ice came down, but much has remained, and they are laden down even before adding another 8 inches of snow to their burden. When the snow stops I will go out, shovel the front path and steps, and try to shake the branches loose again, help them not break.

For some, Christmas is family, which may be a good thing or not. For some it’s an alone holiday, and that may be a good thing and maybe not, or probably a mix of both. For me it’s still sitting at my computer and writing (after some study), and keeping an eye on the birds outside stuffing themselves at bird feeders.

Who are they blessing for having filled their feeders yesterday morning? Rae buys the large bags of birdfeed and usually fills them, but yesterday morning I filled them early, knowing what was coming. But who or what is the true source of this miraculous nutrition on this wintry morning?

We may be alone, but not lonely. Lately I’m getting the most wonderful emails from readers of this blog. They say thank you, but more than that, some of you share a depth of heart that is in no ways different from what I try to share here (only yours is a little shorter). And this Christmas day it’s hard for me to express to you all that means.

Writing is a solitary occupation. Many of us do it in the same way we meditate or brush our teeth, just because we have to. But there’s solitude there, and at times the question: Is anybody listening?

When emails come from readers telling me of their impressions, I not only get an answer, I’m getting a connection. For this blog is a one-way deal, not two. The only way real connection can happen is when someone writes back, may start off by saying: You don’t know me but . . ., and then there’s a name, words, presence.

Those are great gifts for me.

So this Christmas Day, which my husband, Bernie, and I don’t celebrate with a tree or exchange of gifts but just a small hello, kiss, and how’re you doing?, let me tell you how grateful I am for your reading, your thoughtful responses, and the connection we have created this past year. May we take care of each other and help each other move forward, and keep all beings in our hearts.