Today is Tuesday, December 22. We are days away from Christmas and a piece of me feels like I failed Advent.
Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.
Can I honestly say I’ve leaned in to these things as I intended? Have I lingered in the longing? Or has it been more of a stumbling tumbling season of grasping for things and feeling them slip through my fingers over and over again? And is that okay?
Yesterday was the winter solstice. The day started green, pointing with misplaced certainty to a snowless Christmas, but turned white in a hurry. City streets and highways turned treacherous. And somewhere above the cloud at the end of that short stormy day, planets aligned and a “Christmas star” shone bright. We couldn’t see it, but we trust it was there.
The solstice turned out to be a microcosm of the 2020 experience with its unexpected storm, dangerous conditions, and something capturing our imagination that was going to happen no matter what. It was that “something”—that planetary alignment, that “Christmas star”—that opened my eyes to the inevitability of Advent.
No, I haven’t felt it. And I haven’t seen it, though I’ve hungered for it. But maybe the pieces I held close for a moment before feeling them fall like grains of sand through my fingers were enough to soften my heart and usher in the mystery.
I think about a phenomenon occurring high above the clouds, there being nothing that could have stopped it, and the certainty gives me comfort. As I contemplate things above, and others unfolding here among us; as I return to familiar words and pray familiar and not-so-familiar prayers; I find rest. I don’t know what the day will bring but the wisdom of things unchanging gives me peace.