I find Advent a strange time of year, looking backwards and forwards at the same time. The anticipatory excitement of children’s voices, silly Santa hats, and sentimental TV adverts, is mixed with the gloom of shortening days, tragic news stories, and weather forecasts of winter storms. For me it is the anniversary of my mother’s death, over two decades ago now, reminding me of losses and absent friends and family; although at the same time it stirs up memories of happy times, playing games, telling stories and eating together. The Christian message looks back to the incarnation of God himself entering our lives in human form, as well as looking forward to a world of “comfort and joy”.
Although I sometimes wish I could spend the winter months hibernating cosily, undisturbed until spring, one thing I am looking forward to is January’s “Mindful Writing Challenge”. Over the past three years this daily prompt to pay close attention to the world around me, has been a great antidote to winter blues. In 2012 it kick started this blog, and in 2014 I will once again post my “small stones” here. I also plan to write them in a “findings” journal and I am making the cover for this at the moment, “leathered” brown paper fabric, decorated with everyday “findings” such as paper clips, hooks and eyes, press studs, and zips.
It will be a reminder for me that there is treasure in everyday moments. Just like the shepherds and wise men long ago, who discovered the greatest gift of all hidden in a pile of dried grass in an animal feeding trough, we just need to keep our eyes and ears open!
Mindful challenge details here….