It sat quietly in the darkness of a green velvet box, unable to tell of the Christmases it had seen as it looked outwards from the branches of countless trees, or the fairy lights whose twinkle saw it shimmer, incandescent and glorious.
It could say nothing of the hands which year upon year had gently opened its lid, or the smiles beneath the eyes which gazed upon it as it was delicately hung aloft and marvelled at by all. It could not speak of the precious wonder it had seen, of the hushed and nameless magic of which it was a part, or the melancholy felt by those whose fingers tenderly removed it from its already wilting bough, and returned it to its place of hibernation for another year.
As it waited in the dark silence of the loft, it could not know of the sadness which enveloped the home beneath when, one year, Christmas ceased to be. It could not say why the touch of careful hands would no longer be felt, or why those eyes would look upon it no more.
It is at night when Christmas trees truly come to life and the combination of bauble, light and tinsel creates that feeling of coming home. But this year, all would remain packed away in the cold attic room where specks of dust floating languidly across the skylight, illuminated by the radiance of the moon, would be all that glistened.
And so it passed, as all things must.
The seasons changed, and nothing and everything remained the same. Through the small roof window could be seen innumerable spring mists, summer suns, floating autumn leaves, and wintry snow globe skies, but all stayed silent. That is until one day a beam of light burst forth from beneath, casting its rays across the dusty floorboards, and everything was gathered up.
A lifetime in four visits.
The humble velvet box came to sit unopened on a table alongside other people’s memories; a postcard of a holiday in France; a book containing the inscription “to Edith, on your birthday”, and a child’s desolate toy dog, its fur matted by love lost.
Priceless, yet for sale.
As her mother browsed, a little girl picked her way through the possessions until her eyes came to rest on the box and, taking it in her hands, she prized the lid apart to release the secret joy within.
Under the crook of a small arm rested the dog, and in a little bag clutched in a mittened hand, the star travelled with her, as it had done for those who had gone before. When it came time to decorate her home for Christmas, her small hands opened the box and delicately removed the decoration, her eyes dancing with delight. As she placed the star carefully and excitedly on her chosen branch, its harmonious reunion with light and love saw it shine in a way which she had never seen anything do before, and as she beamed at the sight before her and the feeling within, the star looked outwards once more, and all was right with the world.