Saturday, December 01, 2012

Following the Star, Dec. 1

December is filled with memories and joys.
Each year I relive so very many.
Sometimes they rush past and I simply smile...

Found on Etsy at The Bluebonnet Cottage
Like the memory that fleets past almost every year of a December when I was four and an artist friend of my mom's from the Fort Worth Art Center (now The Modern) brought me the gift of an apron filled with crayons. An art apron! I almost wish I had one now. I could wear it like a gunslinger's holster and draw a crayon from it anytime I felt a coloring break would help add needed perspective.

Other memories linger, and I find myself indulging them, sometimes in comforting day dreams.

It seems too early in December to linger long in one of my favorites, the sight of sanctuaries filled with hands holding candles lifted high and the light in the darkness that is so central to my grown-up Christmas Eves. These memories rush together, a light growing brighter as the years converge. My memories bring these lights from many perspectives -- the view from the pew, the view from the pulpit, even the view from the volunteer preparing the candles to light the way for each Christmas Eve pilgrim.

As I sojourn toward Bethlehem this December, I welcome the memories.

As my Advent practice, I choose to pause and engage them.

December often has difficult memories, as well. I know I am not alone in sifting among joys and sorrows. It is seven years since I spent a December fortnight in hope that surgery would heal my father's heart and in ultimate sorrow and despair that it did not.

Seven is such a sacred number that it seems a good year to release those memories. I will engage them as they come, but I plan to pause this December on the crayon aprons and the Year of the Hamster and the matching pj sets my grandmother always gave my brother and me on Christmas Eve and the plastic toy tradition and Mom's Chex mix and watches for homeless teens and the ornaments on the tree and amaryllis growing before my eyes and homemade cinnamon rolls and the light,
the light overcoming the darkness.

Christmas Eve image by Randal Newton, used with permission.
Crayon Apron found on Etsy at The Bluebonnet Cottage


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