blue, peach and crimson hope: prepare to prepare


It will be hard to get used to the way the morning light shines through clouds in Colorado lighting them up peach against a bright blue sky. It is a feature the desert. I have seen this morning phenomenon nowhere else.

Winter runs from All Saints to Candlemas in our liturgical expressions in Anglicanism. It is a season of waiting and of longing. Nature breathes without the depth of summer and its seasonal brackets. Trees slow down, roots do their work while limbs and branches wait, silently, in the hope that another season of light will come with days long enough, and sun direct enough, to warm them and move the sap now caramelized in there veins.

We will soon enter Advent. It is always the season in which I miss being a cloistered monk, protected from the engines of our economy, focused on a different economy. Advent is rife with the most beautiful hymnody of our year, deep with blues, and hope, which is its sponsor. “Advent; brought to you by Hope, use it in your home, your office, anywhere.” might sound the ad if Advent were a tv show.

Leaves have fallen, seeds are down too, also waiting. The Holy Spirit flits around painting everything with frost, using her glass-and-silver paint brush tipped with a diamond, the one she used so long ago to paint humanity into existence with stardust and God’s “yes.”

What do we do? You and I? What is our job in winter’s darkness?

It is to listen to the radio of our hearts picking up the signals of the divine cosmos. Radio waves hit the receiver of our silences and ping in our amygdala and our frontal lobes both. So we tune in, adjusting the dials of our prayers so that the words are a bit clearer between orgasm and invitation, between fight and flight, between welcome and our needed no’s. “What was that? What did you say Lord?” ”You want me to do what? Face what? Clean what? Step into what? Let go of what? Give birth to what?!?!”

Winter is the midwife of our Spring longings and Summer loves and even our autumnal go-letting. She bends low with her bowl of steaming water, that silver and glass wand tucked under one armpit, the bowl fragranced with herbs. She has a towel over her arm and she silences the demons with a playful, smiling glance – silly beasts. She then lights a candle against the dark, and the room’s angels are exposed, and the work of birthing begins with its hopes and its screams, followed by the cooing, gurgles and giggles of something newly birthed, even as the carpet remains stained with sticky crimson as a reminder, under peach clouds and new morning light.

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