I feel like a little kid staring in the store window at Christmastime. Red and green striped candy canes. Dolls with an extra set of frilly dresses. Toy trains and miniature villages set up along the tiny tracks. Images of twinkly-eyed Santa Claus whispering to the little girl on his lap, "What is your special wish for Christmas?"
"Snow!" I say, as I clap my hands in delighted expectation.
"Yes," he says. "I'll bring you snow."
"And a warm house to run back to after I build a snowman on the front porch."
"Of course, a warm house."
"And friends. Santa, I just moved here. All my favorite people are back where I came from."
"Are you done with them, with your old home? Are you really ready for a new life here in Ashland?"
"I'm sure I'm done. But I'm maybe not all the way here yet. You've given me the snow; I have a wonderful warm house to be cozy in. Now it's time to invite my new friends home and offer them tea and cookies. But Santa, where will I find them?"
"Be patient, little one. Some wishes take time to answer, and I want you to give me that time so that I can find just the right friends, who'll love you and support you, play with you and hold you when you're sad, and be joyful with you when you celebrate your life."
Ahhh, my breath steams the window until the scene before me is obliterated. I reach up a gloved finger and mark in the steam: All right, Santa. I'll be patient. I trust you, you know!