The Camel on my Desk

Yes, I really do have a camel on my desk.. not a real one of course, but about fifteen inches high and 12 inches long. It is made of leather and with the most expressive brown eyes. She reminds me of a promise from a story repeated many times long ago.

I grew up in a large family, the oldest of nine. We never felt poor since our house was always filled with laughter, love,  and plenty to eat, but money was scarce. Some years there was no money for Christmas gifts and my mother filled with despair and grief when confronted by our questions of why we couldn't have presents when we had been good, wove us a wondrous tale.

She took bits of every religion and created the story of Clyde, the camel driver. She explained that he came all the way from the middle east to deliver gifts and that he couldn't possibly make it to every home in time for Christmas. She wove the tale with such detail that we were always spellbound . What made the story even more wonderful is that the years that Christmas didn't arrive on time, we would return home from school one day in March or April and find that Clyde had arrived while we were gone and left his gifts as promised.

Now, my mother to this day in her late eighties, dislikes the holidays because it reminds her of those years. We have never been able to convince her that it was one of the most memorable parts of our childhood for the good. We all, from atheist to spiritualist  all have a camel displayed in our home at the holidays and the story is passed down to our children and grandchildren.

This past year, I was visiting the delightful store in Columbus, Ohio called the Zodiac and I noticed a dusty camel in the corner and asked if it was for sale. She said it had always been in her store and asked why I wanted it. I told her my story and she gifted me with the graceful camel that now resides on my desk.

The camel, with her head raised with expectation and her soulful eyes kindly reminds me that no matter how much I might want something now, that Clyde would eventually load her down with all my gifts and deliver at just the right time.

May your 2013 be as rich.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story, and what a beautiful, creative mother. Happy New Year!