last night i went to a parenting circle at francesca's school where the topic was reverence. it really made me pause and think of what reverence means to me. these last few weeks, months, have been really heart wrenching for me on a personal level and i feel so tender and a bit anxious during this season that should be so beautiful. i turn on the radio or look on facebook and it is so clear the sense of dread and despair that i am feeling is in the air. my children must feel it so i struggle whether i should just shut it out completely or if i am meant to participate in the dialogue in some way. i just don't know the answer.
what i do know is that i am the mother of two small children. i do know that the world is largely good. i believe in the importance of the imagination and that this season of giving is also one that marks the beginning of something new. these days are full. full of what? that is my choice. every day i choose. and i keep tweaking and refining. there IS magic in the air in the face of so much despair. i'm doing my best to tune into that frequency instead of what the news cycle feeds me. there is nothing our small children can do with the despair that is out there in the world.
so now i think of how i put this desire and deep need for reverence into action. i have been practicing this for a long while (but can always be better.) i choose the contents of my day. i choose the company i keep. i choose to make meaningful moments with my children. through my example i can show my children that the rhythms and rituals we have for each season are deeply important and longer lasting than any shallow, consumptive ones. i still struggle with this myself. i see things on instagram and think BUY BUY BUY. i'm not proud of it but i am as human as the next person. in so many ways this makes me feel like such a sucker and i'm trying to get out of that habit.
so these small moments...lighting a beeswax candle that francesca herself made before telling a simple story after school. acting it out with little characters and ending with a song. a small circle for no reason at all other than to connect with my daughters. a moment of reverence and togetherness. the greatest gift we can offer each other.
another...making our winter nature table and focusing on the advent.
"the first light of advent is the light of stone -
light that lives in crystals, seashells, and bones.
the second light of advent is the light of plants-
plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
the third light of advent is the light of beasts-
all await the birth, from the greatest and in least.
the fourth light of advent is the light of humankind-
the light of hope that we may learn to love and understand."
we need symbols of light during these dark days. fill your home with light. fill your heart with light. if something is making you feel bad, change it. we have the choice to have gratitude no matter how big the obstacles we face.