Here at a time in my life when so much of my family has died, I have had to make decisions about what and when I cherish. What do I bring forward from that life with them? What do I call out from my time in California? How do I incorporate the people in this life whom I’ve come to love and their celebrations? And how do I leave myself room to “mind the gaps,” to drift away from what is still too painful to touch?
This is some of Advent’s important work I think.
Many of us, for reasons far sadder than death, don’t have the family they want. So how do you celebrate and cherish the family you do have? How do you make holidays that matter with who you are and what you have.
The Dark is a precious gift and so are the holidays that come with it. And there are so many. Can’t do the one you were born with? Can you do it differently, or make a home in another one?
And can we all acknowledge our responsibility to cherish life? This is a time of new beginnings, celebrations of tiny scraps of God among us and light returning. Can we sing sleep in heavenly Peace in December and mean it in January? Can we light candles and remember the past and look forward to the future and providing defiant light to the world?
We’re the people to do that! We’re the people to cherish our own traditions and to invite people over to share the festival foods. We’re the people to become curious about others’ feasts and fests and learn about what makes us different and celebrate the urge to come together to with our families and communities to make new memories.
We’re the people to create Peace. We’re the people to cherish it. May it be so.
Alternative Advent today is 10¢ for every flush toilet. That should be a dollar! These are precious!