Advent is upon us, and we are preparing for the darkest day of the year, and we are preparing for the return of the light. We anticipate the struggles of busyness, obligation and the annoyances that find us, all the while the joys of Christmas–the sparkle of the lights, the giving, the receiving, the hope and wonder of it.
This time of year, as the trees bare themselves, clad with only the cold wind upon them, I am reminded of Mary Oliver’s “Blackwater Woods.” Here is an excerpt:
Everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know.
To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
I think of the Magi and the three gifts they brought: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These parallel with Mary Oliver’s three things. Gold is for provision, providing for a family or friends and our responsibilities. Frankincense is the heaven-bound incense that connects us to the divine and to one another. And, myrrh is the embalming oil for the departed–”when the time comes to let it go.”
I pray each of you have joy and connection this holiday season, that you can connect at our different gatherings, and you connect with friends and family alike.
Peace beyond all understanding, may it be with you!
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!
— Rev. Wil