Alone at Christmas

I went alone that Christmas to a place far away from any one or any place I knew.

Two mountain passes and four hours of driving, and a flat gray lake absorbing the wake of a rickety ferry fell behind me, and I sat with my head against a school bus window bumping up a dirt road into a snowy mountain valley and arrived to an unlocked dorm room with a single bed and white walls blank enough to give the shadows I brought with me a place to live.

I’d heard about Holden, a tiny Lutheran community in the North Cascades tucked into a mountain valley, and I decided to go.

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