white egret rising

white egret rising

in the middle of nowhere
i wait
in utter new moon darkness

a distant light
shines on rippling waters
from which the rustle of wings
the call of a loon
disrupts the silence

a blur of silver
white on black
amid late summer torpor

i wait

Photo: Dwight2007 via Flickr

Photo: Dwight2007 via Flickr

Today for Poetics over at dVerse we are invited to use the Moon as a theme. Thursday’s New Moon approaches and it is said that this is a time for new beginnings. The pub will  be open today, Tuesday, at 1500 EDT. Please join us. The moon is such a great poetic inspiration.

Dark December Days–Monday Meanderings

Today is dreary. My meditation time was drearier. I look out the window and the branches are bare. The few leaves that remain hang listlessly. There is no breeze to stir up some action. Not a bird shows up to feed on the fruit that remains on the ornamental pear tree. Everything is still, empty.

Photo Credit: David Slotto

Photo Credit: David Slotto

I’m in concert with nature until I remember that it’s the first Sunday of Advent. Celebrated in Christian communities, Advent marks the four Sundays leading up to Christmas—the arbitrary date chosen to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

The word Advent is derived from the Latin word for “coming.” It denotes an attitude of anticipation, expectation, hope, waiting—much like that of the early Jewish people who lived in expectation of a political Messiah who would deliver them from the tyranny of the Roman occupation of Israel.

Understood from the Christian perspective, which views Jesus as the Messiah, this deliverance is spiritual rather than political. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In this sense, I find that the spirit of Advent offers a message for people of all spiritual traditions.

We are attuned to the seasons of the year. We mirror them in our own lives. When nature sleeps, we may experience our own emptiness and know innately that there must be more than decorations and shopping and whatever else we turn to in order to dispel the darkness within.

Advent is the season for the child inside of each of us. It a time to be excited about what is yet to come, to believe in a spiritual Santa Claus who will appear in his own time to fill those empty spaces in our heart and spirit. When we are surrounded by barren landscape, those gifts will fall gently into our lives like pure snow. We await beauty. We hope for peace.

Photo Credit: scrapsoflight.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: scrapsoflight.blogspot.com

This image is that of an Advent Wreath. In Christian churches and homes, a candle is lit on Saturday Eve each week to open the vigil of Sunday’s observance. Usually the candles are purple to make that sense of emptiness however, on the Third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, a pink candle promises joy. Gaudete means joy in Latin–the first word of the reading from Isaiah–Rejoice, Israel. Your salvation is drawing near (my paraphrase).

Written on Sunday for Monday Meanderings. The sun decided to show up and the birds are having a great time in our pear trees.

For more indepth reflections on Advent, shared by writers and poets of many spiritual traditions, I invite you to check out Into the Bardo, an interdenominational site that will post an Advent-related essay or poem every day until Christmas. One of the things I appreciate most about this site is that it highlighst similarities, rather than differences between many diverse spiritual points of view, showcasing, somehow, they most often converge into a whole. Differences are respected and teach us new ways of understanding mystery. It is sites such as Into the Bardo that will, we hope, bring us closer to one another. Into the Bardo is hosted by poet/author Jamie Dedes with the help of contributing authors. I am honored to be one of them.

Through This Dying–Jingle’s Poetry Potluck

Trees covered with Snow

Image via Wikipedia

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck: http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/  This week’s theme is: Aims, Goals and Ambitions. This poem is loosely related to the theme, especially for those of you in snow-bound regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Through This Dying

When earth returns to stillness
and robins pluck the fruit
from unclothed branches,

when boughs of junipers
lay, crushed beneath
the weight of snow,

and when the nighttime sky
gives way to swathes
of white and gray

then, without sight,
you hope,
await another day.

On Waiting

It used to be, spiritually, that Advent was my favorite time of the year. Something about “incompleteness,” about waiting for what’s to come. When I was young, I wanted to be older. Then I couldn’t wait to graduate, fulfill career dreams, accomplish all kinds of life goals. My life’s journey followed directions that were different from most of my peers: going in the convent at a very young age, not marrying till I was in my late 40’s, no children. Now, I’m in the “3rd third” of my life, as my neighbor refers to it. And still waiting for what is to come, but so much more focused on what IS. In writing–enjoying the process, as well as the prospect of publishing. Spiritually–savoring the moment, wondering what is to come, STILL waiting.