I think today I got some feels about Advent, about this Christmas time. The last few weeks have been full of illness and now lockdown and nothing has felt like ‘Christmas’ at all (to borrow a line). Today though I read a beautiful poem in my Waiting on the Word book – a collection of poems and reflections on them by Malcolm Guite. Today’s poem was Christmas and the Common Birth by Anne Ridler. I think it was the link between childbirth and this remembrance of the child birth that we do each year which got me. These lines especially made me stop and pay attention:
To bear new life or learn to live is an exacting joy:
The whole self must waken; you cannot predict the way
It will happen, or master the responses beforehand.
I love the truth spoken here, it is an exacting joy to bear new life and learn to live, it’s unpredictable, life emerges and takes shape and is beyond our control. Becoming and being a mother has felt entirely like that. I am strangely comforted by these words, it feels good to know that it is an exacting joy to learn to live, that it doesn’t come easy but there is something wonderful going on. You can make your own links to the coming of Jesus but I sense that in the birth of our Emmanuel something like this is happening, that our whole selves are being wakened again to new realities. I wonder if these are different each time we remember, each time we walk through this part of the year. I wonder if each year we need something different from this ancient story woven into our lives. I wonder what I need this year. I wonder what you might need.
In other news we survived another day of isolation. We made biscuits, played in the garden, did lots of hama beads, read more of The Voyage of the Dawntreader, watched Coco and played a new board game. All in all a pretty good day. Wonder is still lurking.