I've lost track of what day it is. I know it's Thursday, but how many days I have been reflecting on gratitude? I think it's day 11, although I missed a few days in between...
Jan Richardson in her wonderful book, "Night Vision" reflects on this season, from Advent to Epiphany. She begins week two speaking about desire. She says, "Each year in the fall, the voices being clamoring to tell us what we want. We cannot go shopping, read the newspaper, listen to the radio, or watch television without being told what will make our holidays complete...We rail at the commercialism of Christmas even as we sometimes get caught up in it."
"But the voices will never tell us about what we really want, what we really long for, what we desire with heart and soul. Those who have sat in the darkness know how the shadows give way to desire. Without sight, without our heads swimming with the images of what others tell us we want, we can turn our gaze inward and search our souls. What speaks to us? What calls to us? What dreams have we buried? What wounds cry out for healing? What longs to be born in us in this season? What is the yearning which we have not dared to name? Or desires reveal to us what we think about God, about ourselves, and about the world."
She then goes on to quote Janet Morley from her book of prayers, All Desires Known. Morley writes, "I understand the Christian life to be about the integration of desire; our personal desires, our political vision, and our longing for God. So far from being seperate or in competition with one another. I believe that our deepest desires ultimately spring from the same source."
This Advent season is for me a time of reflecting on desire. What does my heart hope for, what does my soul desire? Today I am really grateful that my life is slow. It seems I worked really hard for a few weeks, and now I find myself at a lull. It's only temporary. But I am grateful for the time to stop. To be. To watch the snow fall. To drink a cup of tea. To read. To wait...and in the waiting to, perhaps, find my heart's desire and a prayer answered.