"In the bleak midwinter" is the first line of a familiar Anglican hymn, perfectly descriptive of this afternoon. It is a blustery day, deep cold and clouded over. The hymn is about the birth of Jesus.. the obvious metaphor of the Light of Christ breaking through the stripped down times when the world is colorless and bitter. As I begin to write this, the winter afternoon sun comes from behind the cloud cover and lights up the bare trunks and branches outside my window. They turn to brilliant gold, then dull back to gray and brown as the clouds return. Daily life, clouds, hymns, everything is a reflection of everything else. Is it all metaphor and illusion and a great cosmic joke?
I really think that the God in us is entertained when we play with images and ideas, when we see the illumination in daily things, when we feel filled with joy by something small. I look at my Shelties sleeping on the rag rug at my feet. They are never far from each other or from me. I feel in my own body the aliveness of their breathing, the lifting of their soft sable coats in rhythm and the little sighs of contentment. If I even begin to stand they will be instantly alert, up and ready to join me wherever I go. I read once that if you have Shelties, you will never again go into the bathroom alone. Very true and one of those divine jokes I think. The sun is doing its Light of Christ thing again. How very loved we are.