I know the contours of this land as intimately as I know the arc of Advent: the slope of the pasture and height of the ridge, the thick canopy of the pine forest and black deep of the pond. I walk every morning on an unchanging trail, secure in the embrace of these steadfast mountains believed to be the oldest in the world.
But, behold, today, a flock of wild turkeys strutting up the grassy hill. Yesterday, a sparkling mist draped the dark trunks of the oaks, and the day before the heavens opened wide to pour out a cleansing rain. Unexpected gifts. A swirl of red and gold leaves surrendering to an autumn wind. A spider web dripping with dew. Spiny horse chestnuts and mottled black walnuts fallen on the path. A riot of pink ladyslippers poking their heads through the damp spring earth, and a huddle of delicate Queen Anne’s lace nodding in a summer dawn. The insistent call of a red-tailed hawk answered with the operatic song of a wood thrush, echoed in the eerily plaintive cry of a screech owl. A shimmering rainbow spanning the cove, and a pink cloud hovering below blue peaks against a sunset-scarlet sky. Enough to take one’s breath away.
This land is always the same. And always changing. Like Advent.
As we walk once more the well-worn path from Hope, through Peace and Joy, to Love, let us take comfort in the familiarity of the way. Let us light each candle with intention, a signpost to guide us through the gathering darkness. We have been here before. It is all the same. And surprises beyond our imagining await us.
Beautiful, Joyce! You’ve captured the mood of both the landscape and Advent season with glorious images and poetry. Thanks for this.
Joyce, you have such eyes to see and you paint a picture so that we can see too! Thank you.
I second Carolyn’s comment, such lovely adjectives to describe the lovely real pictures that you see on your daily walks.
Loved hearing you describe your daily walk and then about lighting candles for Advent. Just read the following that moved me also: “Advent and Christmas are a poignant time to show the light of God to the world around us. The only way to change the world is to change ourselves- what better time than at the birth of our Savior”. AMEN!!