It has been a long time. I have been busy learning and studying and singing, trying in between to keep up with the most basic tasks of life, like preventing dirty dishes from taking over my little kitchen (with varying degrees of success). I have been constantly at work, exercising my mind far more than my body, so much so that I have had trouble slowing down enough to fall asleep at night. Now that the semester is over, and my to-do list is much more exciting than it has been in a long time, it even more difficult to sit down, as I tried to do this morning, and spend time reflecting; allowing my mind to be still enough to listen to my heart. I know that my life is on an upward slope, and will be getting progressively busier for the next few years. But already, I am finding it hard to keep up with tidying my inner life and refreshing my spirit even more than keeping the dishes out of my sink. I am thankful that I have a long break this year; time off to sink into Advent and try to remember what Christmas is about beyond the craziness of our commercially-driven consumerism. I am enjoying candles very much this year, and appreciating the symbol of light in the darkness, love filling the emptiness.

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I get very excited about December. I love snow, especially in Montreal where Christmas lights adorn public streets and angels of light can be found sounding their trumpets half-way up McGill College St. It is a beautiful time when the drudgery of November’s dark cold is lit with excitement and the warmth of light. November’s dreary days of dead leaves underfoot, bare trees overhead and 4pm sunsets with nothing to break the darkness but desk lamps, are over. The most intense period of studying is over. And the good part of the waiting, the “light is coming” anticipation, has begun.

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It makes me think of the words from Handel’s Messiah, taken from the words of the prophet Isaiah, “unto those who walked in darkness, a light has dawned”. I don’t mind the early darkness in December, when I can walk through streets decked with festive lights and bustling with energy. Just like I don’t mind so much the dreary times of life if I remember that the Light of the World walks with me.

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