A Promise Under Our Feet – Advent Reflection

Credit: Aryeh Alex, CC

Ontario soil in winter is a womb that holds a liturgy. We wait and wait for the opening prayer of snowdrops, for little yellow colt’s foot flowers and bloodroots blooming. Whatever darkness the world has wrought, the trilliums will flower. Trout lilies will take their turn, the order unchanged by world events. The leaves of the May apples will emerge as they always have, slicked back toward the soil at first, newly birthed and damp.

Christmas will be a light for many and for others a bleakness. Winter cold shatters what has grown too brittle, even within us, and between us. All the same marsh marigolds will sprout from soil so damp it seems uninhabitable. The blue cohosh will come up rumpled, needing, like the rest of us, to shake out the winter. By summer its berries will be the blue of a storm sky.

This steadying rhythm remains a promise under our feet. The dame’s rocket will shoot up, triumphant and purple. Wild cucumber flowers will tangle with the jewelweed’s. Autumn awaits, with goldenrod and purple aster and blazing sumac leaves. They’ll be brought low by a frost that whispers “amen.” We will begin to wait again, in hope.

Kate Suffling works in mental health and lives in Kitchener, Ontario, where she enjoys gardening, mothering, and all things outdoorsy. She loves the red-tailed hawks that fly over her urban neighbourhood and circle playfully above the fray of busy intersections.

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