For the past couple weeks, since the white roses and pansies realized they were blooming out of season, the Heidi Allen Memory Garden located at the intersection of Route 104 and 104b in New Haven has been dark and full of death. The array of beautiful flowers and greenery have shriveled and died. The lilac trees appear to be sticks more than trees. Thanks to daylight savings time, the garden is surrounded by darkness when I go by in the morning and when I drive past later in the evening. The darkness in this place of remembrance was starting to get me down, “Lord, is there a way to return light and joy to Heidi’s garden during the winter?”
Not only did He answer, He answered the same day while I was at school. During lunch one of the teachers shared of her talent to make wreaths, miniature trees, and kissing balls. “What is a kissing ball?” I ask. She explains it and then one of my friends tells how she hangs them at the cemetery for Christmas instead of a wreath. Thank you Jesus, you are so good.
I ordered one and left school with a little pep in my step knowing there would be a little Christmas joy in the Heidi garden. I couldn’t wait to hang it on my shepherd’s hook for those traveling by to see. A visual reminder, we haven’t forgotten Heidi and there is still hope. She brought it to school and I took it down after dark so I could see the transformation, only to be leave disappointed. The garden was so dark, you couldn’t see it.
I shared the surprise with my parents and then the disappointment. The following day they found a way to bring light to the garden. It is beautiful. Thanks to John at Sun Up #7 and my father’s creative electronics, there is a light shining on the kissing ball now. Instead of darkness, there is light. Instead of despair, there is joy.
Merry Christmas Heidi
and our beloved
New Haven Community!
A little history of the “kissing ball”
“…The kissing ball comes to us from that time, too. During the Middle Ages, villagers would wind together twine and evergreen branches into a ramshackle ball shape. In the center of this conglomeration of evergreen boughs they would place a clay figure of an infant to represent the baby Jesus. These "holy boughs", as they were called, would be hung from the ceiling along passageways in castles and big houses to render blessings and good luck to all who passed under the bough and the holy infant…” http://jeannegrunert.hubpages.com/hub/The-history-of-the-Christmas-kissing-ball
Beautiful with meaning – blessings and good luck to all that pass by the Heidi garden this holiday season from our family to yours.
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323