For you, this Christmastide

One of my favourite carols, in remembrance of Mr. Borov, my grades 9-10 Spanish teacher, from whom I learned a love of languages, music, and seeing beyond the sphere of my own isolated and provincial world. I remember a Christmas assembly where students and staff performed for the entire school during an afternoon. There were the usual silly skits and loud garage bands. And then Mr. Borov, a small man, barrel-chested, porcelain skin and dark hair, took the stage and stood alone under a spotlight. The audience was rowdy. Unabashed, Mr. Borov opened his mouth and, a capella, sang O Holy Night. From that first, clear, unwavering note he had us and brought us to epiphany, so that when at last his voice soared through those last crescendos we were on our feet, weeping, cheering, clapping for the beauty of this simple man’s gift.

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