Winter Days

It’s not the cold, it’s that the days are so short. Darkness comes and I want to curl up and nap, not work on all the things that have to be done. And with the sabbatical looming (I leave Jan 17, for those who asked) it is hard to stay focused.

I love Advent even though my congregation doesn’t do much to officially note the season. But down deep, this is what I think the month of December is for: wait, watch, wonder. It is the season of maybe. Maybe the baby will be born. Maybe the child will be the one. Maybe things can change. Maybe…

Sadly, there is not a lot of room for waiting and “maybe” in the life of a minister. December is a time of extreme busyness and lots of decisions that must be made, not to mention details that need to be managed. Add to that the social occasions that fill the calendar and what I most want is what I have least time for. How I long to sit, to wonder, to contemplate, to befriend the silence, to make connections through time…

Instead, my calendar is bulging with meetings and events. Ah well. This too shall pass. Perhaps I will have my own personal advent, beginning on December 26. We’ll see. In the mean time, a favorite hymn by Shelley Jackson Denham:

Dark of winter, soft and still,
your quiet calm surrounds me.
Let my thoughts go where they will,
ease my mind profoundly.
And then my soul will sing a song,
a blessed song of love eternal.
Gentle darkness soft and still,
bring your quiet to me.

Darkness, soothe my weary eyes,
that I may see more clearly.
When my heart with sorrow cries,
comfort and caress me.
And then my soul may hear a voice
still, small voice of love eternal.
Darkness, when fears arise,
let your peace flow through me.”