We've been busy with those seasonal tasks that anchor us to earth, the actions that over the course of a lifetime become ritual. We all work. We all find respite from work. These are fixed truths.
October and November were unusually warm, and I welcomed a brief stay of the inevitable, but now, in mid-December, we still wait for winter, for a bitter wind to rush over the sleeping earth, and for snow to cover browns and grays. It's quieter outside, with cricketsong quelled and songbirds warming their caps under some southern sun. Even the homely cries of geese are gone, and the only bright patches to draw the eye are brilliant sunrises and sunsets and flashes of feathery reds and blues outside the living room window. When darker, slighter birds gather by the dozen to form crowns on the tops of backyard maples, we watch them, too.
There's a rightness and comfort to the constancy of seasons, and a holy sense of wonder in the knowledge that they always come, placid in their certainty and confident of their place. Sometimes, when I'm spinning and lost and dark, they ground me. They stand as reminder that the One Who moves the earth and moon, pins the sun in its place, and orders the seasons, will one day fully order all the burrs and knots of humanity, too.
In this confused and mild December, He still rules the season and each moment. We move through Advent, and in the darkness that falls on us too fast, we light candles, read of hope, and sing together, waiting for the greater Light to come.