On my parents’ Christmas tree hangs a wooden train ornament. It is a simple, quaint expression of the youthful joys of the holidays — not the flashy hi-techitude of the laser-cut teddy bear that hangs nearby.
It doesn’t provide the luminescence of its glass-blown cousins on the lower branches (placed nearer to the gifts so that if gravity should loosen them from the plastic pine-needles, they have far less to fall). The train’s wheels don’t move. It does nothing to hide the glue that binds its pieces together. It is nothing special, to the casual eye.
Every year as a child, I waited for that train to come out of the ornament box. It was “my” train to hang. Each piece — the green smoke stack, the yellow body, the red wheels — each was hand-painted in a primary color that was brilliant in its own right.