Because I keep Advent -- the four weeks preceding Christmas Eve -- as a quiet time of waiting as the darkness deepens, I have only now, after the last Advent Sunday, begun to prepare our house for the Christmas celebration. Although we won't put our tree up until Christmas Eve, I have strung some sparkling lights around our door and throughout the house, and I've brought some boxes of well-loved old ornaments down from the attic. In the same way, I've searched the "attic" of my blog and found in my archives this Solstice meditation from a few years ago. Just as I'll hang the same shiny balls and glittering stars that we always hang on our tree, and have set up the same treasured Nativity sets in their regular places of honor, I am offering this same meditation again. I enjoyed re-reading it, and I hope my blog's readers will, too.
Winter Solstice! As of today, the darkness will start to recede, and life-giving light will begin its return to us.
While searching through my files for an appropriate celebratory image, I came across this photo of sunlit ripples moving across the sandy bottom close to the shore of Moreau Lake. The photo was taken in early March on one of the first days the ice had begun to retreat from the shore. Free of its frozen constraints, the water seemed to be dancing for joy at its liberation, vibrating with life and warmth, the sunlight waving bright ribbons of gold along the sand, the tiny wavelets acting as prisms that cast flashing spectra of brilliant color. Struck dumb with delight, I stood and gazed and was overcome with gratefulness and joy. How could it be that such treasure was mine, strewn at my feet, freely given, and all I had to do was open my eyes and see?
In many ways, this is also the Christmas message. The Divine One, the source of all life, dwells among us on earth and can be found in the humblest, most ordinary of circumstances. God is not "out there" in high heaven, but right here, right now, love freely given, like treasure strewn at our feet, and all we have to do is open our hearts and love.
I wish you all a joy-filled Christmas season and a wonderful new year.