Somehow it always catches me by surprise, the way the days shorten so quickly. This afternoon I found myself, peering around like a mole in my dim kitchen at four thirty. But we’ve lit one more candle on the wreath this week, predicting morelight and life coming.
It has been quiet here at the blog, while my hands have been busy making things I can’t share here, that are steadily being wrapped and tucked beneath the tree. There’s been Christmas music and the creak of a needle, slipping in and out of tightly stretched fabric. And when the work is laid aside, there have been big, full moons and the muted kaleidoscope of the colored lights I’m glad we said yes to, soft on the ceiling.
For the first time ever, I shared my heart from the pulpit of our church home, encouraged us to sing of a true Christmas, of a God with us Whose story is told over and over in acts of love. I watched my older boy play an angel in that place a week later, and marveled at the gift of a place where we know and are known. The mornings and evenings we’ve spent there have reawakened my wonder in Advent.
As the boys’ school break draws closer, I am hopefully moving from a place of preparation to presence. This means letting go of many things, including my own vision of a perfect me, who has made it all and decorated it all and baked it all and, yes, prayed and contemplated and proclaimed it all. Even adding together the two women I am in these December days, you can’t come up with one like that! There’s just me, a little more in touch with her limitations that usual.
But creeping in, even in the low light of these short days, is something better than perfection, something new this year. It is a sense of enough-ness, and, as the fingers loosen and let go, a breath of freedom instead of failure. Soup and bread, candles and greenery, peace and hope. The light is coming, and the darkness will not overcome it.