Magic indeed...

Bring ‘em on – more lights, more magic. Now that the brilliant autumn colors are on the ground, heading towards complete disintegration, we need our holiday lights outlining the barren trees and arching rooftops and garden pathways. Due to the lack of rain many new installations popped up across our communities this past weekend.  Their inventiveness at times brought to me such pleasing amusement.  

And with these trying times, amusement can seem to be in very short supply. Our hearts ache for the seemingly sudden change in fortune for our society. Not that these current ills weren’t obviously coming, but one still wanted to believe that all was well. That there were no seriously injured/disabled veterans from the wars that we have distanced ourselves from, or that civilized dialogue has gone the way of the dodo bird, or that in the past simply getting a job was something that could be done. So the holiday lights can distract us and I celebrate that distraction. This is a season of darkness, but it shouldn’t be a season of bleakness.

Look to the garden and you will see barren branches, but pausing to look more closely you will see the new growth buds are fattening each day. This week it seemed too early to remove the heavy litter of yellow and red maple leaves from my front garden beds, but I knew from past journal entries that the tips of early snowdrops would soon be emerging from the dank soil. I found 4, and there may have been many more, but due to the cold temperatures I was doing the clearing work very quickly. The foggy damp cold we get when a high pressure system parks itself in our neighborhoods at this time of the year requires the dedicated gardener to move quickly through the final clean-up of our gardens, and the final planting of our spring bulbs. However, I urge you to pause long enough to see that the ‘new year’ in the garden is already underway.

In some Christian groups, the start of Advent on December 1st is their New Year. For them Advent is a season which lasts 24 days. Perhaps many of you have always enjoyed the magic of the Advent calendar, where a window with a small little treasure of a tableau is opened every day until Christmas Eve, where on that day the birth is shown in a very large window. Their Christmas season then starts on the 25th and that season lasts 12 days. So just as it appears in the garden that all is dormant, they see this new year, with its renewed hope culminating in the birth of their savior, as a time, after the birth for celebrations to last for a full 12 days. Advent becomes a time of quiet hopefulness.  

This approach certainly relieves the pressure we currently have for all family reunions and church time and gift giving to happen on just one day! The pace is slower and richer. If one were to use the word sustainable or “slow Christmas”, I suspect there would be a greater interest in returning to the former descriptions of the Advent season followed by the Christmas season. 

Meanwhile, it is great to see that a slogan has finally appeared that may help our businesses within our communities.  The “Shop Local” theme seems to be making an impact. For years I have been writing about the importance to our communities for our support and dollars spent within them. Now it is trendy to show that you know the importance. Well, this trend is fine by me. I want to know my merchants. It is an important continuum in my life.

Last Friday I had great chats with my favorite merchants and met some interesting new ones. I looked into shops that were gaily lit for the holiday season, ran into friends I hadn’t seen for awhile, and then walked home with the fixings for supper. It was great to see the cafes and restaurants filled and the sidewalks clogged with people.  Some of the music was distinctly off-key but you had to smile. We need those smiles.

[[In-content Ad]]