Well I know now the feel of dirt under the nails,
I know now the rhythm of furrowed ground under foot,
I have learned the sounds to listen for in the dusk,
the dawning and the noon.
I have held cornfields in the palm of my hand,
I have let the swaying wheat and rye run through my fingers,
I have learned when to be glad for sunlight and for sudden
thaw and for rain.
I know now what weariness is when the mind stops
and night is a dark blanket of peace and forgetting
and the morning breaks to the same ritual and the same
demands and the silence.
~Jane Clement from No One Can Stem the Tide
Seven-thirty. Driving northwest out of town,
the snowscape dusky, sky tinted smoky peach.
In the rear view mirror, a bright orange glow
suffuses the stubbly treeline. Suddenly a column
of brightness shoots from the horizon,
a pillar of fire! One eye on the road,
I watch behind me the head of a golden
child begin to push up between the black knees
of the hills. Two weeks out from Solstice, the sun
so near winter it seems to rise in the south.
A fiery angel stands over his cradle of branches.
And what strange travelers come to honor him?
And what gift will I bring to him this day?
~Thomas Smith “Advent Dawn” from The Glory
And he shall be their peace.
I tossed and turned last night — my thoughts too busy, my blankets twisted in turmoil, my muscles too tight.
The worries of the day required serious wrestling in the dark rather than settling silent and forgotten under my pillow after prayer.
Yet, as ever, morning dawns anew and once again I’m comforted by the rhythm of emerging light overwhelming the night. This ritual of starting fresh remembers the promises given to us again and again in His Word.
In the name of peace today, I will get my hands dirty digging a hole deep enough to hold the worries that kept me awake in the night.
And tomorrow, even if I try to remember, I will have forgotten where exactly I buried them.
This year’s Barnstorming Advent theme “… the Beginning shall remind us of the End” is taken from the final lines in T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Cultivation of Christmas Trees”
Peace, peace, peace on earth
and good will to all.
This is the time for joy
This is the time for love
Now let us all sing together
of peace, peace, peace on earth.
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