Archive for December 23rd, 2022

Advent … Day 27 of 29

Though today is not the last day of the advent season, it is the last post I write in this season and I am writing it the day before, yesterday.

I sit in the quiet of morning, with the bright East Coast morning sun shining behind me, pouring into the small kitchen of the home of my childhood. My mum, still sleeping. A cup of steeped tea at my right, a muffin made by my aunt, delivered by my uncle. I inhale the moment, the quiet.

Tomorrow will not be quiet.

Tomorrow our family will descend for the feast, for the laughter and awkward moments that are family gatherings. We will poke fun at each other and someone will be offended at some point. The meal will be met with great anticipation and the gravy may or may not be a success. There will be gifts, surprises, celebrations. There are rules this Christmas season … no perfumes, no standing hugs (for unsteady feet and legs), no sad talk. For one in our midst (my brother, a partner, dad, son, brother, friend) … he has been told his end date is near … his (our) season of waiting has been decreased and this will be his grandest, most special Christmas of his life.

I take so much delight in the silence of the men in the Christmas story,

Zechariah can’t speak.
Joseph doesn’t speak.

While the words and emotions of Mary and Elizabeth are unapologetically centered.

The sound of Advent is the voice of women.

Cole Arthur Riley

And I sit here in the silence, thinking about the past, about the future … and the silence speaks to my heart in ways words do not.

And I think of the woman who has held fast to my brother’s side. Who, despite her own health issues, has been a rockstar of perseverance, help, trust and care. She has loved him.

And I think of tomorrow. How the white elephant will be in the room and we will be silent about it, Its whiteness is only because it is there and we all know it. But, for tomorrow, we will celebrate … celebrate Christmas, celebrate life … celebrate living.

This one wild and precious life (Mary Oliver) will be on our minds. It is the gift of life that we all received at birth, preordained by the God of Creation.

In the silent moments, in these last days of advent I think about the women of the Christmas story, so used by God to love and nurture Jesus and the one who came before him (John the Baptist). Though they too were mostly silent in the telling of their parts in this grand story, their actions spoke more loudly than words.

And we breath in … inhale
And we breath out … exhale

Life is precious … sometimes you have to be silenced to be reminded of the beauty of this gift.

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver


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