Seasons’ Greetings Westsiders!
Here in Toronto, we’ve been buried under some big snows, cast angels in the billowing powder, and careened down hills on carpets of magic. This morning’s snow has left only a light dusting on the ground, but we are surrounded by signs and sounds of the season at every turn. As much as it has been hard being away from you all, this fall has been an enormous gift of time with family and friends, resting in the love that is and anticipating all that is yet to come.
The spirit of advent, that pregnant pause of sitting in the unknown, anticipating the returning light and the first fruits of a new season, is a feeling I know we’ve all been spending more than our usual time with this year. In a time and world that seems to exist only in a persistent state of overwhelm, it is so very necessary to have occasions and rituals that invite us to step back and marvel at all the miracles of life.
Ariel, Rowan and I are filled with a special joy this advent season, as we anticipate adding a new member to our family! A pregnant pause indeed! We’re expecting a new child and sibling for Rowan will arrive sometime in July 2020 and we couldn’t be more delighted.
And this while we likely celebrate our last Christmas with my grandmother; joy and sorrow are woven always so fine, we are so rarely one thing, one feeling, one simple spirit. If this is your first holiday season with a new child, a new love, a new calling or a new wonder – I share your joy and wish you all the more. If this is your first holiday season in the shadow of loss, or one where the pains of the world are simply feeling too much to bear – I share that sorrow too and wish you peace, courage, and some small comfort.
The Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman offers these wise words, for all the candles we might light in this time.
I will light candles this Christmas.
Candles of joy, despite all the sadness.
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage where fear is ever present.
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days.
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens.
Candles of love to inspire all of my living.
Candles that will burn all the year long.
In honour of Ariel’s jewish heritage we will light our menorah. In the tradition of sacred nature we will kindle flames to resound with the dawn and sing awake the light. In the darkness of my home sanctuary we will pass the flame remembering the holy night that was and the so very many yet to come. And with each there will be tears – of joy, of sorrow, of blessing and always of love for the faces that surround us whom we now see all the more clearly for the great miracle they are.
May we birth a new day, follow a new star, greet a new dawn, surrounded always by love, together.