from the Latin adventus
meaning “coming”or arrival
especially of something extremely important
In mountain climates like ours, we have no choice but to “prepare” for the upcoming holidays of light given that they serve as the threshold of winter–no matter what our religion (or lack thereof.)
For New Englanders, it’s time for snow tires and scrapers, woolen socks and mittens, down comforters and flannel sheets, the wood pile and the stove, the plow poles and the shovels–and a deeper affection for the summer basil and the berries buried in the freezer.
The gardening books are returned to their shelves, and the poetry takes their place on the coffee table. Long neglected novels return to bedsides, and snuggling “in” supplants late nights at the pond.
All this preparation makes me wonder about those in warmer climates. How do they welcome the season of advent?
On this first Sunday, I light a candle, as a reminder of the warmth I must create inside for the long months to come. I resurrect my yoga and meditation practice to soften the dark edge of short days, and I nurture hearth and home with breads in the oven and soups on the stove. Early dinners are shared with friends, and leisurely breakfasts replace the flurry of summer activity.
But what of the rhythms of those without this kind of deep winter? How do they reset their internal clocks for this time of preparation and renewal?
There are certainly those of us would love to join them. The onslaught of winter can feel like a prison, especially as climbing snow piles encroach upon house and road–and psyche. Some shorten their sentence by escaping, even for a week or two. And yet there is something about staying…
In this place of white, the world becomes silent, demanding a depth of presence that it is a gift unto itself.
(How do you ready yourself for winter’s turning in?)
Kelly Salasin, First Sunday of Advent, 2010