in preparation



“Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide.”

“Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.”

“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness
and thus to open doors of hope.”

Last week, we wrote on the peace and hope we find in this season and how to prepare. How does somebody prepare for peace? Often, in winter and before our various winter gatherings, the preparation is in food and gifts, clothing yourself to bear the weather. On the inside, we prepare differently. The writers say that the holidays are a difficult time for them, being separate from family and these traditional preparations. They explore finding new rituals to honor the season. We prepare by writing together, calling up and sharing our traditions and memories, and bearing witness to each other.

In the writings below, you will hear a few accounts of their experience to which we bore a snow-like witness, their words as footfalls on the page.


Before long, I will celebrate Easter,
a most holy Christian holiday.
I will smell the ham cooking.
I will set a beautiful table.
I will be so busy; I just can’t wait.
And I will focus on the ride home
chauffeured by my son in
his lime green Geico car.
Three smiling faces will greet me:
Nick, Angelo, and Abigail.
I wonder if that trip will be quick
or will it seem to last forever.
I picture my front door of red
adorned with a brass knocker
that displays a welcoming pineapple.
My hands will surely be shaking
as I grab the shiny ornate handle,
my cheeks will burn
from the constant smile on my face.
My heart will rejoice as
I take my first step,
over the threshold, a tear will fall.
I am joyful and triumphant.
This is my last Christmas here. Hark!


Onward I go, faithfully into the dark.
Step by measured step
anticipating the solstice.
The darkest day of the year.
After that I will know,
it can’t get any darker.
I am promised the waxing of bright days.
The winds and rains may
always beat along my path
but the hollow pit of night can
only grown shorter.
I can only grow stronger.
I sing out to the night.
Come! Come meet me.
I am ready.
Come! Come challenge me.
I will endure to tomorrow.
Come! Come darkness,
that I may find the light.
COme! Come while I still have
the courage to meet your worse.
Onward I go, faithfully into the dark.




What brings me hope?
Looking at my beautiful baby boys
with such wonder, awe, and curiosity
emanating from their eyes,
the way their faces light up when they smile,
when I get to wake up to their precious
little faces.
The best part of my holidays
is spending uninterrupted time with my sons.
No business that matters is open.
No phone calls except from close family and friends
and even nowadays you’re more likely
to get a text.
I love giving gifts to children,
especially my sons.
Leroy and Cassious,
the two most important men in my life,
I especially love when their wake up
before me on Christmas day and see the cookies
gone off Santa’s plate
and the gifts that spill out from under the tree
that was nowhere near full last night.
Cassious runs and gets Leroy,
Look! Look! Then, Mommy, get up! Look
at all these presents!
Not even the most delicious cup of hot cocoa
could warm me up like the look on
their faces on Christmas morning lights up
my soul.
My sons are all the hope I need.
Christmas won’t be Christmas until I’m home AGAIN.


. . . and you?

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