Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent 2016

Advent is one of the most beautiful times of year and also one of the most bleak.  I love light - long days with evenings that seem to last forever, early morning light that allows me to walk in the forest with my dogs before anyone is awake, afternoon sunshine streaming through a window as I take a leisurely nap.  These short days and the seemingly endless darkness cannot help but make me feel as though somehow, the sun has slipped away and we have been left abandoned, in a world that has died.  And yet...

When I think of Advent, I immediately thing of the light of a candle.  I did not grow up in a tradition that had night services and for this reason, Christmas Eve, with the blaze of five candles on the Advent wreath at the front of the church felt like magic.  The candles blazed and spread a light warmer than any sunshine.  My more prominent image of Advent is of a candle burning in the darkness, spreading a warm, golden light on everything.

I also tend to think of Advent as being a time of quiet, which is a bit ironic given that, with the mix of school and church concerts, tree lightings, tree cutting parties, skating shows and frantic shopping, the reality tends to be anything but.  This year, I want to try to capture a tiny bit of that quiet into each of my days.  One way that I plan to do that is to make sure that I light a candle at least once each day and I slow down for a few minutes of reflection.  Another, and this is a lofty goal for me, given my past history, is to try to write a blog post daily capturing a moment of waiting, of quiet and/or of joy that came to me in the quiet.   I need to give myself the grace, here and now, of admitting that it probably won't happen every day but the intent is often the first step for me.  If I can maintain some momentum, there just might be some hope that I might survive the Advent season, feeling some peace in the midst of the frenzy and some gratitude because I have had time to actually ponder how blessed I actually am.

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