Advent is oneAdvent Wreathe of my favourite times of year.  In Latin, Adventus means “coming.”  Today is sparkling bright, clear, crisp, with glorious snow on the mountains, and even a bit on the ground outside, which is rare in Vancouver.  But I experience even the often grey, sometimes drizzly, definitely dark, and cozy weeks of year as a time to celebrate Comings and Becomings.

First there is the meaning of Advent in the Christian tradition, “a time of expectant waiting and preparation” for Christmas.   I love the seasonal music, gathering together with friends, and making my Advent Wreathe with its four candles, and love to light an additional one each week, to track the coming of the holiday.  We are in the second week, so I savour my tea and meditation with two candles burning 🙂

During Advent, we can also celebrate other comings and becoming:
• the coming of the shortest day of the year, and the turning toward the light that this brings;
• the coming of the end of the year and the welcoming of a new one;
• the coming of that special time, called, in German, “zwischen den Jahren” or “between the years” — Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, for me a special time a reflection on the year just past, and the one about to come…
Several years ago I wrote about another possible Advent or coming: the Great Turning, Johanna Macy’s name for the essential adventure of our time: “the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.”  While not immediately on the horizon on all fronts, there are still many encouraging signs, actions, movements.
Even after the recent election, and in this dark time of our history as a species, this time of exploitation and greed, of great dying out and killing off, of excessive consumption and shameful waste, we can help ourselves and each other to remember the countless and deeply encouraging signs of compassion, sanity, balance — innumerable shifts toward more sustainable ways of being and making our way forward.  May these signs and actions swell to a tidal wave of change for the benefit of all beings, a veritable coming of the light.  Let us all be part of this vital coming in any and all ways we can.  I take courage and heart from Howard Zinn’s essay, On Getting Along. Bless him, and all of those, of us, working to make the world a better place, in ways large and small.
 In closing, I send you warm holiday greetings, health and happiness for the rest of this year and the new one to come, and a blessed Advent, with all its many possibilities.
Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)
Share this: