More than anything, the path I want to walk this December is a quiet one, with enough stillness and pause and rest from the din to let me hear the angels singing.
We are not traveling this year, and the upside of staying in a country where Christmas is not celebrated to the same overwhelming degree as it is in the West, is that there is room to breathe. Christmas can be taken back, as it were, and stripped down to a more simple, meaningful, recognizable celebration of the Incarnation.
So even as I deck my home with fresh boughs and twinkling lights, the hum of their festivity filling our hearts with an almost ridiculous amount of joy, I want my soul to beat to the tune of the old story, my mind filled with the pages that year after year shape my own story and give breath to the lungs of our life.
This year, as part of my Advent liturgy, I’m letting more poetry shape my worship and daily reading; both pieces I fumble along to write, as well as beautiful anthologies and collections I’m excited to share a bit of here.
Tonight, as I was sharing with the kids during our Family Time, I read to them a poem that heralds the beginning of Advent, a call to quiet ourselves before that first blinding light, even as it spreads a wildfire of holy on all our days.
I’ll share it with you now. May you find time to ponder anew the hope that these days of waiting can bring.
It is an early morning like all others.
The moonlight slants along the snow. Faint stars
Dissolve into the sky. The household,
Cat and children, deeply sleep.
It is a morning like no other morning.
There is a signifying in the silver dawn.
Stars hesitate, streets listen.
Snow melts in tenderness, trees wait.
The strangeness of the moment quiets lungs
and blood. The touching of a cup,
The turning of a page, is holy.
Even the stillness of the room breathes wonder.
Child, Light to my soul-shadow, my confusion,
Coming sweetly, and so small,
Growing within, a stealth, a mystery—
I am moved by this simplicity.
Transfixed with thanks, folded in love,
I cannot adore enough. I cannot speak.
Like trees and snow and stars and street,
I too am silent in the widening light.
Myrna Reid Gran