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Ray Boren, Deseret News archives
Moonrise over the Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake, Utah, on June 2, 2004

There aren’t a lot of outdoor Christmas decorations in Jensenville, but Christmas is in the air. It’s in the glories streaming from afar and the silent stars going by.

Jensenville, like Brigadoon, can't be found on a map. That’s just the name locals give the place. It's bottom lands mostly — bird lands — a mile or two below Brigham City.

I’m here at dusk, my favorite hour. It's Twilight Time, when — as the old song says — “purple colored curtains mark the end of day.”

To the east, the mountains are dark bundt cakes drizzled with frosting.

To the west, the sunset is my favorite kind: strips of pink and blue stacked above the horizon like baby blankets.

At dusk the color drains from the landscape leaving behind no yellows, greens or reds, just dark and light and the shadows at play between them.

The half-light brightens the local porch lights and turns distant neon into flaming fuzz.

Little lights rule, until the lop-sided moon shows up and steals the show.

There’s no star of Bethlehem here, so the moon has to do. Tonight it sits just south of Brother Jensen’s home. With a little ambition, I could swing my car around and perch the moon on his watchtower like a pelican.

In Jensenville, you can make the moon do tricks.

In Jensenville, after dark, it’s all about available light.

Some say the Gospel according to St. John doesn’t have a Nativity scene. But I disagree. The opening verses of John tell of a light shining in the darkness and the darkness not comprehending.

Isn't that a description of Bethlehem's star?

Some see the manger star as an embellishment of sorts, a Christmas ornament. I say the star cuts to the heart of the matter. It is holy light appearing in a darkened world, while the world itself shuffles by, clueless.

Starlight is the Christian light.

And here in Jensenville, as I’ve said, the moon serves as understudy to that Christmas star, bringing everything into high relief, shining its easy light on the stubble and standing water, on the animals and their keepers, on the just and unjust.

Tonight, in Jensenville, I know its Christmastime. The moonlight tells me so.

Like the star of Bethlehem, the Jensenville moon fills a soul with good feelings.

Tonight, for example, it has filled me — along with this little outpost west of town — with something very much akin to comfort and joy.