Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Silence...and Reflections

A lovely, quiet Advent evening...the fire in the fireplace adding a
touch of warmth and comfort to my beautiful blue living room,
with its decorated tree in the front window and some of my
collection of Santas on the mantle. I have lived with this room for
nearly twelve years, yet I never tire of its sense of welcome, its
sense of being a nest, and its reflections of my life. On the walls,
there are pieces of art made for me by friends: a pen & ink drawing
made many years ago by my dear friend, Mae; a scherenschnitte,
an intricately cut paper design, created by my precious friend,
Bonnie; two drawings of African animals, made by Kenyan artists;
two word-paintings created by a woman in Greensboro; a lovely
photograph canvas of Beatrice and her grandson, Eugene, taken by
talented photographer, Ginny; and my newest piece, a colorful canvas
in acrylics by Rwandan artist and friend, Innocent.

As I sit here, enjoying the silence, cherishing the solitude, I am
filled with such gratitude and amazement for this life I am leading,
this life I have been privileged to lead. Oh, yes, it has certainly
had its share of difficulties; I would be lying to suggest otherwise.
And there have been times when the pain and sorrow seemed
almost more than I could bear. But I have been graced with the
blessing of dear family and wonderful friends who have been my
strength when I had none of my own; who have offered loving
care and acceptance when I needed them most; who have been
my greatest cheerleaders and encouragers; who have been
God-in-flesh again and again, revealing to me Divine Love in all
its glory and beauty and mystery and wonder.

Perhaps it is that we are nearing the end of the year; perhaps it
is simply the holiday season, which always makes me nostalgic,
missing specially those beloved ones who are no longer here but
who loved the Christmas season so much and filled it with so much
joy: my dad; my son, Carl Allen; my sister, Rennie; my uncle, John;
and valued friends, Hank, Mary, Jean, and Teresa, to name just a
few. Perhaps it is that as the year comes to a close and my birthday
looms large, I am increasingly aware that I have far more years
behind me than lie ahead...increasingly aware of the oh-so-rapid
passage of time...increasingly aware that this is not the time to
"put off until tomorrow" but rather to seize the day and do those
things which add meaning and flavor and spice and joy to life...
increasingly aware that taking risks is far more meaningful
than playing it safe.

But if I had to choose just one word to describe how I feel at
this moment in the eternal time of the universe, it would be
PEACEFUL...for this moment, this tiny sliver of eternal time,
I am totally and completely at peace- with myself, with the
world, with the Divine One who loves and accepts, with the
family of humankind of which I am a small but intricate part.
And I wish for you that same holy peace, my friend...the
peace that passes all understanding...the peace that breathes
a "thank you" and understands that life, just as it is, is

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