I never attend to winter’s coming until the day – there is always a particular day – when the sky is, of a sudden, a singularly thick grey. This greyness envelopes the day from morning till sunset. Ah, here it is: winter. Seeing this sky causes a kind of relocation in my mind and heart. It’s as if I’ve walked off an airplane in a new region of the spiritual world.
Although it generally takes me by surprise, I don’t mind this sudden arrival of winter. Grey is not black. It is not “darkness” but another kind of light. Grey calls for a heavier coat, the turning on of lamps. But it also invites longer nights of sleep. Dialing down the activity level. Perhaps a cup of tea.
I walked along the Charles River yesterday thinking about all of this. The air was thick with the scent of old leaves and wet branches. The water was quietly reflecting back the grey of the sky. I thought about how full and sometimes fraught this year has been in Watertown (and elsewhere). Maybe a time of quiet, a time of less-ness, and a cup of tea are just what we need. Rather than escaping to Florida or to the fluorescent lights of the mall, or to a “lite” theology of eternal sunshine, what if we accepted what grey skies offer us?
During this first week of Advent, we light a candle – just one candle – patiently believing that it is enough for now. We explore the world of just enough light. We watch and wait through the grey days, moving without hurry through the days at hand, which are blessing and in which we will be blessed.