Floating in a moonlit sky

Christmas day and a cold one at that. Toys and newly opened presents filled his grandparent’s home, but my son stumbled upon an old bottle of bubbles and was intent on breathing life into the soapy liquid.

“That’s a summertime game,” I tried to explain, more out of selfishness than anything else. I was quite content inside the warm house.

The three-year-old and his grandfather won out.

Donning our jackets, we made our way to the front stoop. The air, thin and frigid, raced past as the wind sometimes is wont to do.

After a few unsuccessful attempts, and with a little help from the wind, a bubble came to life.

Michael’s eyes lit up at the sight of his creation, and the wind quickly carried it away.

He continued to breathe life into the clear crystal bubbles, and the wind took each glass ball on an eternal journey skyward. Yes, eternal, for in the chilly air, the bubbles simply would not pop. Rather, crystallized by the cold, they traveled beyond the eye’s reach.

I gazed in amazement at the unexpected consequence of blowing bubbles in the winter air. Dozens upon dozens of crystal balls of breath flew through the sky, carried by the wind to unknown destinations.

Where will the bubbles land, I thought to myself.

Perhaps miles away one pops on the outstretched branch of a lonely oak tree in the middle of a barren field.

Perhaps one meets a bird in flight, surprising the creature as its beak breaks through the soapy ice and is warmed by the little boy’s breath.

Perhaps one of the crystal balls travels through the air to a distant land, where it floats down onto the upturned palm of another boy in another land. For a moment it may sit there in his palm, the boy eyeing it with wonder and delight. Then, without warning, it bursts into nothingness, joining the collective breath of the world.

What’s to say one of those bubbles isn’t still floating in the moonlit sky?

Captured in crystal, the boy’s breath continues on its journey until one day it reaches the heavens, lands in the palm of God, and then kisses that which breathed life into him.


  1. This is a great reflection! I’m writing a Christmas sermon (for Christmas Eve 2010) drawing on images of breath (breath of God, breath of the world) and went Googling for ideas … and found this meditation. It’s superb!

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