Friday, December 25, 2015

.....Light and Darkness.....and Advent and Christmas

It is no secret by now that I love my summer job.  All season long I am paid to keep shop in a 100+ year old general store, or have tea in a Victorian mansion, or cook on a wood-burning stove in a 1900's Farm House, or make brooms from broom corn, or teach Spencerian penmanship in a one-room school house, or scrape a buffalo hide and work on beading my pair of moccasins.

From May to mid-October we re-create Iowa's agricultural history in the glaring brightness of the summer sun. We wear long sleeves and long skirts to keep the sun off our bodies and use bonnets and parasols to keep our faces shaded and protected from the burning heat and UV light  radiating from planet's closest star.  We carefully pace ourselves in our daily tasks.....chores that must be completed, but workers that must not be depleted.  We avoid the light as much as possible.

Now that we have transitioned to our winter programming, those brightly blinding days are replaced with  work hours in the twilight of cool fall evenings.  We learn to function during a time of the day best described in Mary Poppins  as "the chimney sweep's world"....."Things 'alf in shadows and 'alfway in light..."  Just enough darkness for you to think about lighting the lamps, but still too much light for the lamp to be effective.  We begin to yearn for the light.

Did you know that there was such a time of day? When it is not dark enough yet  for true light to be effective?

In part, I believe this applies to Advent as well.  The season of the year where we wait for the darkest time of the year in anticipation of how brightly that Light will shine.

Anticipation much like kids on Christmas morning....

Earlier this month I was asked by a co-worker to name my favorite Christmas Song.  My first response....
"Anything but Christmas Shoes"

My second pick was harder....Carol of the Bells, Hallelujah Chorus, anything by Mannheim Steamroller...

My favorite Christmas verse? 
That's much easier.
It describes us while wandering in the shadows of the uncertainty of this life, yet anticipating the glory of the life yet to come.  That time of the day/year/life when it feels as if the light is too dim and yet not dark enough for a new light to make a difference.

The time of day/year/life when there is much to do and not enough of you to go around and even if there were two of you, the task would seem impossible.

That time of day/year/life when we  painfully linger in the darkness,
if only to appreciate the Advent of the Light.

Isaiah 8:20-9:7

Chapter 9, Verse 2

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

of those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

 and Isaiah 9:6
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given."

Because I am taking the class on basking in the Light in spite of and because of the dark... 

Merry Christmas

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