And how sleep seems a goodly thing In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?
Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf? ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti from “Autumn Song”
Now with darkness draping our morning commute
and darkness enveloping our return home,
we too are like the settling of the falling leaves:
our hearts of grief in the letting go,
our souls bound up dried for harvest.
We sing out loud,
in colors that glow in the dark,
while autumn moves us closer to our sleep.
…the scent of frankincense and myrrh arrives on the wind, and I long to breathe deeply, to divine its trail. But I know their uses and cannot bring myself to breathe deeply enough to know whether what comes is the fragrant welcoming of birth or simply covers the stench of death. These hands coming toward me, is it swaddling they carry or shroud?
The Christmas season is a wrap, put away for another year.
However, our hearts are not so easily boxed up and stored as the decorations and ornaments of the season.
Our troubles and concerns go on; our frailty a daily reality.
We can be distracted with holidays for a few weeks, but our time here slips away ever more quickly.
The Christmas story is not just about light and birth and joy to the world.
It is about how swaddling clothes became a shroud that wrapped Him tight.
There is not one without the other.
God came to be with us; delivered so He could deliver.
Born so He could die in our place
To leave the linen strips behind, neatly folded.