Every year the classes at Kamehameha III School in Lahaina would put on a Christmas pageant. From youngest to oldest classes would present a short Christmas themed skit or musical number. I began going to the school in the third grade. My class combined with some other third graders sang two songs and acted out a U.S. Mainland theme with kids pretending to play in the snow.
The week of the play we went to the cafeteria to rehearse. An upper grade was still there, probably 5th or 6th graders. When their teacher saw us she drooped and addressed her class to run it one more time.
“And this time,” she sighed. “Get it right okay?”
‘Do you hear what I Hear?’ played. The kids shuffled around the stage looking at each other. Then when the song mentioned the star a girl came out onto the stage with a confident and cheerful smile and danced with absolute enjoyment.
When the pageant took place a few days later the student’s costumes made it easier to tell the king from the shepherd and the whole thing made more sense. Only the star’s costume seemed to take away from the arresting joy I still remember today.
That may be the first time I really noticed the song. Years after every Christmas season I declared it one of my favorites. Then a few years ago it hit me that there is a story behind this song wanting to be told. It seemed so obvious that I still search around for it but it seems no-one has heard the night wind telling them to compose a story about a Lamb and its shepherd boy braving a winter countryside to tell the king the most important news either of them will ever hear.
I have five pages so far. There is still a long way to go and I only read it and think about writing it around this time of year. Someone remind me in June to pick it up.