It is the first Sunday in Advent, a season in the church calendar that is largely ignored by all the frantic pre-Christmas consuming and celebrating. I have a tree up early this year, because I will be away for THE day and love the lights and baubles and smell of the Frasier fir. Yet I love Advent, the season of waiting... season of trust in the inward and the unknown. It is the time of darkness before the light returns at the Solstice and the birth of the divine child in all of us is declared once again.
Advent is a season that is pure metaphor. In the awareness it brings, it requires patience and the willingness to sit silent with mystery. I have no idea what my life will bring forth next. I have had losses and accomplishments, endured pain, inflicted pain on others, participated in both ugliness and beauty. What I see, looking back is that I was/am only a temporary vessel for Life (or Presence or God) to pass through. Every disappointment and failure has ultimately been redeemed, and I have no clue how that Grace happens; it just always does. I can accept that I am not meant to know. There is peace in that powerlessness.
I see more clearly these days that the "seasons" in the practice and tradition that I choose to follow are not rigid requirements and are not meant to indoctrinate me with literal "beliefs" but rather gentle gifts of space and time that invite me to participate, to let go of my mental gyrations and cravings for satisfaction now. When I am quiet and allow myself to wait in complete confidence, I know that the gift is already given and will be birthed into awareness not in my needy ego time, but in Holy Time.