Find the thing that stirs your heart and make room for it. Life is about the development of self to the point of unbridled joy. Sister Joan Chittister
So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.
On this quite night we come to the most important moments of our Advent journey. We feel the time for slumber with all projects complete and hearts and homes prepared. We were asked to be on alert and to get ready. We have watched for the signs and completed the tasks
But all the preparation leads us to this moment. For like midwives we must stand near, ready for the ultimate job. In prayerful presence as this young baby is born we are here at highest alert – to assist if needed. This is why we have been waiting. This is the moment, all of our preparation leads to ‘now’.
May we stay calm – to draw our breath as it swims inward and exhale as it flows outward; the rhythm of birth and the practice of prayer.
Hold a true friend with both hands. (Nigerian Proverb)
True friends are small in number. For good reason — to nurture these relationships we have to build on life-stories shared and experienced together. Small in number, maybe, but these friends shine with the brightest light. By their side, we celebrate joyful moments of our lives. Times filled with promise, hope and celebration. With the strength of their support, we move through difficult of times of our lives. Times blanketed with the darkness of trust broken and the sadness of letting go of the most precious dreams. Whether the times are filled with joy or sadness, we are shield and comforted with a true friend by our side. No need for words just presence – when moments are shared and saved like notes in a diary.
Interesting – this Nigerian proverb does not say how to hold these friends. No description of a tight grip or straightened elbows – just to hold with both hands. Yet certainly, true friends are to be held with intent. Fully aware of the treasure before you, cradling it with the strength of gratitude.
Once upon a time,
when women were birds,
There was a simple understanding
That to sing at dawn
And to sing at dusk
Was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember what we have forgotten,
That the world is meant to be celebrated.
– Terry Tempest Williams, When Women were Birds
art by Jennifer Lomners
quote and art – Shamntube