Advent Reflections for Winter Solstice
Gyroscopic dance choreographed by Earth’s axial tilt.
Sun stand still
The land is vulnerable now,
sometimes covered by snowflakes
that have let go of something
and pirouetted down
from the heavens
to enchant rooftops
and leaning-over farm fences
and autumn-tarnished grass.
And while tulip bulbs repose
in unseen silence
beneath the austere earth,
cedars in snowy places
fragrance the cold air
with emerald stillness
and praise the December moonlight.
Winter is coming. Soon, cold will blow up on our doorsteps and clamor to get in through our windows. Winter is coming. But even in winter-dead forests, cedars are green forever. Even when all other creation colors hibernate. Cedars remain. Not boisterous or extravagant. Steady. Green in every season.
On this longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I am grateful for cedars in life’s winter place. Cedars perfume the air with God’s evergreen promises during a Christmas season when so many hearts are broken and so much about our world causes spirits to ache. Thanks be to God for people who are “home” to us in every season, for places that cultivate our best selves, and for Gospel promises with deep roots that even in wintry times know how to live on.
**Note: Winter Solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere in late December (11:48 p.m. ET, 10:48 p.m. CT, 9:48 p.m. MT and 8:48 p.m. PT on December 21 and on December 22 in other places in the Northern Hemisphere).
Photograph, “Cedars in Snowy Places,” by Sheila G. Hunter, all rights reserved.
4 thoughts on “Cedars in Snowy Places”
All of it — beautiful! And uplifting in this season of complex and ambiguous feelings.
The photography is stunning.
Jill, Jill (and Sheila too!!), Gail just shared this with me after I emailed her following Sheila Virgil’s emailing to BOV of your latest Advent prose. Between Gail and Sheila, I have had the honor and pleasure of the blessings of your words. I personally, and I know the Div school are so proud of your presence in our midst. You make use so ‘mo-better’!!!
I am honored to call you a friend. My wish for your and yours for a Merry Christmas and the most wonderful of New Year’s – see you then.
Hi Shelmer! Thanks so much for these kind words. I am fortunate to work in a place where I can be creative as a liturgist and teacher. Glad you have enjoyed the Advent pieces! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too. I look forward to seeing you in 2016.