One of a set of five remaining ornaments, this heavy, gold orb has been passed down through Tom's branch of his family tree for five generations. Tom has respectfully hung it first on each of our Christmas trees for the past 27 years, and removes it first when the tree comes down.
It's a part of our tradition. The presence of this antique ornament serves as a constant reminder of those who have come before, and helps us remember that we carry on a tribe, a klan, a family.
Someday, if the globe survives, it will hang on a tree even while those of us in this household walk the earth no more. Someone may hang it ceremoniously, just as Tom does, and we will join those remembered. Perhaps our lives will have inspired, just as so many before have lifted and encouraged us in the living out of wisdom and love.
Christmas offers many such opportunities to get one's bearing, straighten the ship, find True North.