Winter Solstice
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As a gardener, I feel most alive in nature, especially during the growing season. My least favorite time of year is late fall as plants die or settle in for the winter, as days get darker and temperatures colder, culminating with the winter solstice. I look forward to December 22, when the days start to lengthen and lighten, offering hope for Spring’s new growth. 

Advent is often described as a time of waiting, of expectations, of hope for the Savior’s birth—the beginning of a new life. 

As our family navigated my husband’s terminal illness and death, we experienced a different kind of Advent – days often filled with sadness and uncertainty. As our time with him shortened, the darkness grew. Though it’s hard to experience such pain, we tried to maximize the time we had with him, focusing on his spirit and celebrating his life and legacy: the children, colleagues, friends, and family he touched so significantly. Our time this advent and solstice is spent in reflection and also in celebration of everything we are because of the full life we built together.

The solstice is a fitting metaphor for our Advent. A time of reflection, letting go, preparing for the future, and looking for the light to increase again. 

Stir up your might, and come and save us. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:2,19)

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