Advent is a season that speaks softly to me, encouraging me to listen, observe, and reflect in quietness. My daily ritual is to light a candle in the darkness of each Advent morning, read aloud a poem or quotation, then sit quietly.
From November 28-December 24 , I will share a piece of writing that I have collected or written, which resonates with my own spiritual journey at this time of year. I hope that their words may be resources for your Advent practices. If you have Advent rituals and/or writing to add, I encourage you to leave them in the comments section for the rest of us to read.
Peace in this time of waiting and discovery.

Friday, December 24, 2010


May the Light of lovingkindness
fill you and the world
with peace.

Thank you for joining me during this season of Advent.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Advent of Love

The Advent of Love
©2010 Twylla Alexander

Love came down at Christmas,”
as the old hymn goes.
“Love all lovely, love divine. 
Love was born at Christmas.
Stars and angels gave the sign.”

Where was Love before?

It surely was not absent from the world.
Husbands must have loved wives
and wives their husbands;
Children their mothers and fathers;
Parents their girls and boys.

Was there not love of

What was so special
about this Love,
prompting stars and angels
to take notice,
glories to be sung and presents given?

This Love understood
the world’s understanding
of love, yet offered more.

She knew her words would be
shouted down, ridiculed,
misunderstood, dismissed,
and labeled

As hers was the Love for the
disabled, diseased, displaced, disfigured,
deemed different from the rest;
For neighbor as for self,
For the enemy.

In her hand, she held the gift of peace
and placed it tenderly
upon the heart of a child,
swaddled in cloth.

And upon the heart of
each child born
from that day forward.

“Love shall be our token,”
 as the old hymn ends.
“Love shall be yours and love be mine.
Love to God and to alll men.
Love for plea and gift and sign.”

"Love Came Down at Christmas,"  Christina Rossetti, 1885

                              Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh - public domain image

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Be still.

Be still and know.

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

  Photo taken in Pokrovskoye-Streshnevo Park -- Moscow, Russia
 Twylla Alexander

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice by Maria Hodkins*

by Maria Hodkins*

I notice more than anything
how dear the light is
in these December days
and nights…

Like an infant’s face
that first light in the morning
full of promise.
A rosy-cheeked dawn,
waking me with its insistent cry.
Life! A new birth–
The light shatters the seduction of dream
“Come, I will light the Way.”

From the dark shroud of sleep
I leap,
throwing back the drape,
scooping the light into my face.
I turn the plants
to gulp their sky chai
and straighten their pose
for they have been praying, hoping.
leaning into the light, in spite of its leaving.

Arctic blues, powder, smoke, and wisps of white
dress you, sky, in Day’s gown and cape
cold taffeta attending the Earth ball,
my eyes squint in your harsh winter light
and I wait, wait for the warm return
a sun, now so far, so cold
like the heart of a lost lover.

Light of sunset, breathtaking sky
hues too deep for words
dazzling sherbet of periwinkle and peach
Delightful, Trickster, Magician
I bow to your light gifts
luminous mystery
where light hides in the shadows
and halos mountain peaks

And when the night moves in like lava flow
over the land…
The houses sing furious light carols
bright, white, glaring carols
red, green twinkling carols
desperately holding light space for the sun,
everybody’s darling.

Come back, Sun, come home–we miss you!
How dear the light
how I crave the light, drink the light,
lift my glass to the light,
oh Holy light
through this longest night,
you soothe my soul.
*printed with permisssion 

Monday, December 20, 2010


by W. H. Smaw
(selected lines)*

I am. I was. I will be.
I am not coming soon I am here.

*(click for complete poem)