Thank you for reading and commenting on Stones and Feathers! I enjoy sharing these images and thoughts with you, and am looking forward to “blessing the space between us” in 2013. (Phrase from the title of John O’Donahue’s book, which I hope you will include in your reading list this year)
Of the many symbols which decorate our home at Christmastime, my favorite may be the star. Our big tree is lit with tiny twinkle lights reminding us of stars, and is topped with a star. A crystal star holds a candle on the kitchen table. My grandchildren draw stars. Joe loves the Christmas Song “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.” I love the deep mystery of the great star which led wise men to search for a baby. How sweet, then, in this simple and sacred ordinary evening, to slice an apple to float in the cider on my stove and find this star, marking seed and promise of fruit..
Advent: season of waiting, expecting, preparing. One morning recently, I walked toward my front door and stopped, stilled with the beauty of light and shadow which shimmered in early morning sun streaming through our leaded glass door. As I received these images with my camera, I considered how much our Advent and Christmas pondering is like this – the shining of Light into our lament and darkness, beyond our closed doors, past our barriers of grief or bewilderment, settling into the curve of yearning in our hearts to create that which can strike us still with its mystery.
“The light would never be so acceptable, were it not for that usual intercourse of darkness. . .God will have them that shall walk in light to feel now and then what it is to sit in the shadow of death. A grieved spirit therefore is no argument of a faithless mind. ~Richard Hooker
” I’ve remembered this truth again and again as my ups decline into downs, my highs into lows. This reminder only confirms what I know but still need to learn. Light comes not in spite of the darkness, but to balance and penetrate it.” ~Luci Shaw
I write a great deal about vision, particularly attentiveness and seeing with the eyes of the heart. Most of my posts here on Stones and Feathers are related to that in some way. But one does not require perfect physical visual acuity to acquire keen insight. I know a man who is legally blind due to a genetic retina degeneration that presented suddenly when he was 10 years old. His vision is severely limited. He lives in a world of shapes and blurred edges. The blurred photo above represents this although it still has more detail than he would find. However, he has a sharper awareness of his surroundings than anyone else. Seeing with his heart gives him a depth of understanding and perception that many whose eyes work well never develop. I have seen him meeting challenges in getting his education, dealing with issues of transportation because he does not drive, working with his hands in his kitchen and garden. I watched his face as he repeated marriage vows to the love of his life. I admire his determination and faith. I love the hugs only a son can give his mother. I am grateful for his inner vision.