It was late Christmas Eve when I wandered the streets
The white snow crunched beneath my two bare feet
The streetlights were dim, but the moonlight was bright
I walked without aim on that dark, fateful night
I didn’t have purpose, or a place to call home
I was ragged and wretched, and utterly alone
As I wandered around, a voice called from above
“Pardon me, Miss, but I’m looking for Love!
Do you think you can help me? It won’t take too long.
I have a map here, but I think it’s all wrong!”
The voice was a child’s, though I found that hard to believe
This was no place for children! They’d fall ill, or freeze
Yet I knew that voice, though it was only a child’s
I’d heard it before, although not for a while
“Look right up here, Miss!” I heard the voice urge
I followed it this time, and saw a shadow emerge
I squinted as I tried to see who it could be
Imagine my surprise when I saw the child was me!
“Good evening,” it called. “I hope you are well!
We haven’t much time, and I have much to tell!
…but it’s Christmas Eve, Miss. Why are you alone?
Shouldn’t you be with family, safely at home?”
I looked at the child, with eyes so naïve
That it made my soul shake, made my heart bleed
“Little me!” I said softly. “I have no family
There’s no Christmas spirit for broken souls like me.”
“Oh, no,” she said. “You’re wrong! All you need is love!
And that’s just what I am looking for, the kind I told you of!”
With those words, she took my hands, and flew into the air
And then she let go suddenly, but I stayed floating there!
“Come on!” she said, soaring higher, above the homes and trees
“I know this is all seems crazy, but there’s something you should see.”
We flew for hours, or so it seemed, until we reached a house of snow
“Welcome,” said the girl, as we landed, “to the official North Pole!
Santa’s not here, of course, and the elves are having naps
So that means we have some time to search the Christmas Map!”
I saw the patterns carved in ice on the sides of the great walls
They seemed to form some kind of route, but it made no sense at all
“You see,” the girl said, pointing, “I found you walking here,
In the place where Pain and Longing have built up through the years
And I myself have come from here, the place of Tender Youth
But this is where we have to go, the Love Long Lost to Truth.”
“This is all ridiculous,” I said as I stepped back,
“This map has so many twists and turns, it’s easy to lose track!
How do you know where you’re going, or where next you should go?
This whole thing is just a wall with patterns in the snow!”
“But that is love,” the girl told me. “It’s hard to find at first.
But I know that it’s what you need when you feel at your worst.”
“Oh, give me a break!” I snapped at her. “Who do you think you are?”
“I’m you,” the girl said, laughing slightly, “a shadow of a star.”
That was when a ‘ho, ho, ho’ broke into the air
And when I turned around to look, I saw Santa Claus standing there.
“I see your pain,” he said, to me, “do you not remember love?
That magical feeling that lifts you up, and carries you above?”
“Old man,” I said, quite scornfully, “I’ve never known that feeling.
I was born with scars that burn and burst without ever really healing.”
But Santa just smiled, and tapped his nose, and said, “I think you’re lying.
You used to love at Christmastime, even when your world was dying.
Little you has realised that, and came to save your soul.
All you need is a bit of love to make your spirit whole.”
“That’s it!” the girl said, joyfully. “Christmas brought us together.
And its magic is so strong, it will help us find love forever!”
The girl was earnest in her words, I couldn’t help but grin
And that was when, for the first time, I felt love creeping in
And that was when I realised, that all the things I’ve seen
The rage, the pain, the broken hearts, they all were hurting me
And I had never learnt to love because I’d grown up with pain
But that just meant that I lost out with nothing left to gain
And so I learnt to fall in love, for on that Christmas Eve
I learnt to find love in my heart by learning to love me