A few days ago, I remembered. “Crap! It’s almost Advent. Will I write again this year?”
There are a million reasons not to. I often get hooked by an insidious little voice that says “It’s the information age! Everyone’s posting inspirational tidbits, and you don’t need to crowd the scene with something else. There’s nothing new under the sun. Just get quiet, like you love to do.”
And I do love to get quiet. This season of Advent has become a sacred permission slip for me go down and in, to embrace the encroaching darkness. But I still have something to give, and the pull to be of service, to create something, is just as strong. And this year, I’ve watched in wonder as many of the humans around me keep adapting, creating, dreaming, serving, and risking despite their sorrow, loss, and uncertainty. The least I can do is add a few logs to that fire.
So I will be here every day, December 1-25, wondering, “How will the miracle unfold this time?” When I’m open, when I’m watching for something to write about, when I’m ready for something to marvel at, the miracle appears.
I picked up my favorite Advent book this morning (Gayle Boss’ All Creation Waits). Gayle says,
Each day through the fall, [early agricultural peoples] watched the light dwindle, felt the warmth weaken. It made them anxious, edgy…Throughout December, as the sun sank and sank to its lowest point on their horizon, they felt the shadow of primal fear—fear for survival—crouching over them…Yes, last year the sun had returned to their sky. But what if, this year, it didn’t?
The dark end of the year brings unrest. It is an end. It comes without our asking and makes plain how little of life’s course we can control…My own annual December sadness is no reason for guilt. It is a sign of being wide awake in the world, enough to sense loss…The dark is not an end, but a door. This is the way new beginning comes.
Will you join me in this season of waning light? I want to be both quiet and wide awake at the same time, participating in the miracle of survival.