Advent is considered “a time of expectant waiting and preparation.”  In the Christian tradition it’s waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, Christmas.  Many of us, of all ages, are indeed expectantly waiting for that festive event!  I love the wreathe with four candles that marks the coming.

In this post I would like to offer a broader context for this tradition.
 In Latin, Adventus means “coming.”  I experience these often grey, sometimes drizzly, occasionally snowy, definitely dark, and for me, cozy weeks of year as a time to celebrate Comings:
• the coming of the shortest day of the year, and the turning toward the light that this brings;
• the coming of celebratory gatherings, with fine food and glorious music;
• 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…
Another coming I would like to acknowledge this Advent is the possible coming of 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.”  Even 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, there are nevertheless 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 wonder if you have other “comings” at this time that are meaningful to you.  I’d be pleased to hear about them.
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 :-)
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