Advent 2017: Missives from Hibernation

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I've gotten a few nudges from some of you. "Are you going to post every day for Advent again this year?"

After much consideration, my answer is "No,"  though I'll post as the Spirit moves (which may be a lot). The word coming up for me this year is "hibernation." Taking a cue from winter's quiet, listening to what's inside of me, doing some service work, spending time with my growing-up-too fast kids, reading, putting off clients until January, sleeping in with my cute husband whenever possible.

From an Advent devotional called "All Creation Waits" by Gayle Boss, I read this today:

For us, as for our ancestors, the dark end of the year brings unrest. It is an end. It comes without our asking and makes plain how little of life’s course we control. This uncertainty, we don’t know how to mark. And so it marks us. We feel weighted, gloomy even, and we feel guilty because voices everywhere...sing out “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...December sadness is no reason for guilt. It is a sign of being wide awake in the world, awake enough to sense loss...there is a way to engage that sadness. That way is Advent.

How beautiful.

For the last several years, I've struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In the Pacific Northwest, it's not only dark, but WET. The idea of hibernation is helping me go into this season intentionally, like the animals do, knowing that the darkness and silence can actually be my cue to be still, to wait, to conserve energy, feel whatever I feel.

I hope, in reading this, you give yourself the same permission if you need it. Permission to buy less. To eat less rich food. Permission to listen to music, read, take a fast from social media, say "no" to conversations or endeavors that keep you in life-sucking energy expenditures. And the "what for" isn't so we can just be happier human beings and feel less stress. It's all so we can really be in this world of ours, cherishing it and one another, not hiding from what's real. There are terrible things going down right this instant (especially if you're marginalized in any way) and the world needs our gifts. Our voices. Our outrage. So it follows that we really need to rest. I'll be here, too.