Advent 2021 – December 21

December 21 – Brynna

Right behind Pavel was his mother Brynna, a sea captain in her own right, although she’d retired to the Cove with her second husband. Her short iron-grey hair ruffled in the winter wind. Molly had often wondered what sailing under her had been like.

At least as exciting as with Pavel, she decided.

Hardly, Schrodinger said. She’s not a pirate.

That’s been caught, Molly said, and the CrossCat chuckled.

“There has long been a tradition in my home that Christmas is a time to be with family,” Brynna said, her voice carrying easily over the crowd. “And not just those joined to you by blood or marriage.”

The fog wrapped around Molly, and when it cleared, she and Schrodinger were back in the house where they’d first met Pavel’s family. The house looked much the same, except for the young girl seated before the fire. Her fingers twisted thread from the drop spindle she held before her.

The clock on the mantel chimed, and she looked up. This Brynna’s hair was dark and rich, held in a thick braid to her waist, with no grey in it. But her eyes were the same hazel as Pavel’s, and twinkled just as merrily.

A tall man came out from the kitchen as she rose, and he held a small wreath of greenery in his hands. “Are you ready, Brynn?” he said.

“Aye, captain!” Brynna gave her father a cheerful salute.

“Well, then, fetch the candles!”

Pavel’s grandfather went over to the window and carefully set the wreath down. Brynna, her spindle tucked safely into her basket of wool, joined him and set a simple beeswax candle in the center of the wreath.

“For those who have gone before us, and those still on their way, may we be one of the beacons in the darkness,” they said in unison, each touching a lit match to the taper. It glowed with a steady yellow gleam.

“He’ll see it, right, Father?” Brynna said, looking up at the older man.

He laid a hand on her shoulder. “He’ll see it,” he told her. “If not by being here, then by knowing we lit it for him, to guide him home.”

I wonder who they are waiting for? Schrodinger said, and Molly shook her head.

She was about to answer when there was the sound of scuffing boots in the kitchen, and the back door opened. “Merry Christmas!”

“Armand!” Brynna shouted, and rushed to hug a man who must have been either a brother or a cousin. They shared the dark hair and hazel eyes that Pavel did. “You’re home!”

“Of course I am,” Armand said, and nodded towards the window. “I had the candle to navigate by.”

Molly and Schrodinger watched the images fade, bringing them back to the square where Brynna now hung the wreath with the candle set into it on the tree.

Jade leaned over and touched the tip of the wick, creating a small flame that danced merrily. “We can all use a light to guide us by, and this one will never dim,” she said.

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