Monday, December 2, 2013

Light, 12/2/13: Day After the First Sunday in Advent

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.”
Isaiah 9:2

I have given myself the task this year of focusing on light this month, believing Advent at its core is about seeing light, and waiting—trusting—that it is a promise of Light to come. I had family plans for Advent, as well.

But we were traveling home yesterday, and because of how that went there was no formal honoring of the first day of Advent, only conversation about it, and hopes for how we can observe it as a family.

And this is so often how it is.

I love this season, Thanksgiving and then Advent. Grocery shopping is still grocery shopping, but the parking lot is colder, and more often you find yourself bracing against dark brittle air. Along with the brittleness is the sound of bells. And lights. And there is decorating and baking and too many activities, and for most of December that is the background to normal life. Expectation like white noise, but also light—blinking and glitteringacross, against, around everything. Regular life, with all its regular everything, but shot-through with something that is usually not so tangible.

And so, for us. Driving home was usual driving home, but also kind of festive. And grumpy. Nobody was ready for Monday. But I watched for light to share, and twice yesterday looked into the sky and saw what I was looking for. More than I was looking for—it was so beautiful. And there were memories of light from our trip, and new moments in the car, itself.

Even so, last night was long and full of unpacking and getting kids to bed and putting together much-needed couches from Ikea and at the end of the day I could not put words or pictures together to share anything.

The pictures waited. They were not quite what I’d hoped, but they waited. My elaborate plans for Advent stayed mostly in my head, and the general living-of-life took up most of today. But it was good, and there was light, and some of the words working their way through my head waited, as well.

Somehow the expectations, the ways in which I think the light will show itself, never quite meet reality. They brush against it, only. But the light is there, and it pricks and surprises, and there is always something to see, more than you are looking for, maybe, if you keep watching.

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