Waiting is Raucous – Advent Reflection

Great lakes in the peak of winter. Credit: Geez Staff

Advent in the Lake Superior Watershed is only the beginning of our season of snow. The howling, swarming, screeching parts of creation are as distant memory as the riotous green of spring trees. My eyes already ache for the yellow of marsh marigolds which will not arrive until May. I haven’t even cracked the seed catalogues, preferring to put off the savored choices of butterfly weed and elephant dill until January; but my heart already hosts their burning bushes, the bursts and ringlets and clusters of fire.

On walks that are twenty degrees below freezing, I am cognizant of the frogs, stilled but not dead beneath the ice, who will alight the vernal ponds of spring with creaking chorus. I once savored practices of silence before this present season of parenting two children under five and I’ll admit that I covet the frog’s ability to still their heart and mind. To do their work of rest in the womb of muddy darkness. My children, whose bodies are made of the complex dance of this place, teach me to pray without peace.

Waiting is raucous. Learning squeals and wails. The Spirit runs through the house with rapid, stomping feet.

Sarah Holst is a parent, artist, spiritual director, and facilitator living on Anishinaabe Land now known as Duluth, Minnesota. One of Sarah’s primary plant teachers in the Lake Superior Watershed is fireweed, which knows how to thrive amid disturbance and disruption.

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