How are you?
I am writing you here on the coldest night yet in Sacramento- a few days before Winter officially begins. These are harsh days, when the sunlight is brief, but bold and the night comes quickly and stays too long. And, the schedule and deadlines are brutal, no? We have a car in the shop, a broken oven and I have a tooth infection. I tell you - December knows how to bring us to our knees. She also knows how to offer a blanket and soft lighting at the end of the day when we most need it. I'm leaning into December and the BIG WAIT of this Advent season.
Last year - the first after my Dad died, the coming of Christmas felt like a terrifying WEIGHT, the nearly unbearable heaviness of the cloak of grief. Maybe this is how it feels for you this year. If so, this little pine cone candle above is for you. Keep going. Just, keep going, and trust me when I say, this is one of the hardest climbs right NOW. It won't be this steep for much longer. I promise. You take it just as easy as possible this year - we are all going to take good care of you.
We take turns on this climb - those of us who are on the downhill hold the faith and embrace the anticipation of the promise of the good, and holy new life that is on it's way. And, I mean that in the most grand of dreams for peace in the war-torn nooks of the world and peace at the breakfast table. We know how to wrap ourselves up in whatever blanket we most need in order to have energy for what tomorrow asks of us. You see, and I know you know this - this WAIT before Christmas or Hanukkah - it's anything but passive. It asks a lot of us. I recommend inviting your Buddhist friends to tea - the experts at the uncomfortable sit and the get-up-and-do are good folks to stay close to right about now.
December to me feels like a big white room (we are going to make it white because, I live with small children and a dog and nothing stays white - but this December room stays clean white all the time). And, IN this big beautiful open, freaking epic space, lined with incredible windows is a pile of beautiful blankets and your best friend's grandma. The one you loved because she made the best pasta you ever had and the one who needed nothing of you - just welcomed you and was purely glad to have you. That woman. Because she isn't your grandmo, she doesn't worry about you. She simply cares. She is there next to the pile and if you need to cry and sleep she will sit with you and listen, and when the tears stop, she will make a bed of blankets and cover you up in your favorite colors and you will sleep well. She will be there the whole time with you. And, if you need to pray - like really listen hard and long. This woman will fold a blue blanket up for you in the sunny spot and you will sit, and she will sit, and it will be what you most need it to be. Should you come into this room riding your purpose and creative potential high this woman will be all twinkly-eyed and totally up to encourage you and reflect your joy back to you. She can help you build a fort or blast your happy music all dancy, dancy. She's cool like that.
Wherever you are, however you are, whoever you are this December - you are not alone. We've got blankets aplenty and grandmas to go around the world for days. Lean in. We've got this. Good stuff is ahead. Wait, and see.