Stark Beauty


Much to the disappointment of my in-laws, I am not a religious person.  While I consider myself deeply spiritual, most of organized religion leaves a bad taste in my mouth for more reasons than I will go into here.  That being said, there are many aspects of religion with which I identify.  I taught at a Catholic school for several years and Advent was always one of my favorite times in the religious calendar.  Advent season has always been an intimate time of reflection for me personally.  The season is wonderfully appropriate for the "putting to bed" of the previous year and preparation for the upcoming season and year, whether you are religious or not.

This last week has been a time of putting away and preparation for us on Payne Street.  We have been clearing out the last of the fall gourds and flowers and I dug a few holes to winter over the mums in the garden and almost wept it felt so good to be digging in the dirt.  I need to get my mind together for the hibernation that is about to ensue.  Luckily we are in the season for that.  Baskets and pots lie in wait for Christmas greenery.  The leaves are all but gone and our Great Mother Earth prepares for her sleep, winding down the daylight ever more each day; stark beauty.  We ran the dog on Thanksgiving night and it was a perfect evening.  The light had that winter look about it and the mist was gathering over the grass and the dog's breath made clouds when we stopped to watched the sunset.  I finally felt right in my skin after a couple of grumpy days of just too much of everything.

The coming weeks bring so much noise.  Some of it good, much of it just distraction.  I wish all of you a time of quiet among the chaos, moments of family and friendship among the din of the crowds, moments of simple intimacy among the crazy consumerism, and at least a few precious moments of glorious solitude and peace for your own reflection, whatever that may be.  Happy Advent Season, friends, and cheers to the change of seasons that is upon us, stark and lovely as it is.          

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