This little wooden soldier has been in my life for a long time. My first memory of him was when he was attached to a musical night light lamp in my childhood friend’s room. The soldier had two friends with him on a wooden platform and when the lamp was wound up, they went around carousel style. I think I was three or four. I remember playing with the lamp, winding it up, and eventually breaking the music box portion. These friends lived right across the street from us and they were more like auxiliary family rather than friends. Friend’s mom was an extra mother for me. She loved me, gave me many horse books, encouraged me in creative pursuits, and didn’t even get very angry when her son and I painted splotches on the walls of her house.
At some point my friend out grew his need for a nightlight. His mother, wise woman that she was, took the little soldiers and turned them into Christmas ornaments. It is possible that she did this just prior to them moving away. One of the little soldiers was given to me. He has hung on my tree every year since. When I pull him out of the ornament box I think about my childhood friends. I think about the woman who was so kind to me and who has since died. I’ll never get to hug her again or tell her thank you.
The soldier smiles at me and he keeps marching, reminding me of good things past and that good things are ahead too.