Thursday, December 10, 2009

ADVENT COUNTDOWN 16

Hail to the night when we gather once more
All the forms we love to meet;
When we've many a guest that's dear to our breast,
And the household dog at our feet.
Who would not be in the circle of glee
When heart to heart is yearning --
When joy breathes out in the laughing shout
While the Christmas log is burning?
Eliza Cook
"While the Christmas Log Is Burning."
———————————
[The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmaspoem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]

21 comments:

Wanda said...

Gathering with loved ones feels every memory I have of Christmas, along with the memory of those who are no longer here. A bittersweet time if any, but also one full of cheer!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Some of my beloved memories center around Christmases past… especially the gathering in of my Mother's family at my Grandparents' home up the street. Sometimes upwards of four dozen aunts and uncles and cousins of all stripes. Such a big extended family—filled with fun and laughter and love overflowing, and now not a single one left, gone except for what I hold in my head and heart. Bittersweet? Yes…but so, so wonderful.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ_
Oh yes, loved ones close, much laughter and our dog happy at our feet while a nice warm fire burns and glows. What better way to experience advent??? :-)

Love to you this cold winters day
Gail
peace......

Sydney said...

Oh I am so looking forward to joining you every day in the countdown... Riverdaze will be my calendar this year! :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Family—however you choose to define the term—is to be cherished. Growing up, an only child, it never occurred to me that one day all these aunts and uncles and cousins galore would one day all be gone. I miss that extensive gathering more than I can ever put into words. Luckily, my daughter has married into big, extended family, good people all, who like to gather and be close. I'm so relieved she'll have that to support and nurture, to enjoy.

Family is a treasure…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

I'm humbled and pleased you feel that way…and I do you you enjoy each installment.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Sitting before a fire is such a perfect place to dream, appreciate and remember. It is as if the flames invite images and memories.

I hope you are enjoying the winter beauty by day and the cozy delights of a fire at night.

16??? Gotta go. So much to do!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

You are so right. I actually wrote about that very thing last January. I think you'd really enjoy reading it…

http://riverdaze.blogspot.com/2009/01/dreaming-fire.html

Bernie said...

Christmas is my favorite times of year, and this post makes me feel coxy and warm by the fire....I think having the wonderful memories are bittersweet but I would rather have them than not.
......:-) Hugs

The Weaver of Grass said...

I want all these gathered together in a little book, Scribe - and I would like it in my stocking on Christmas morning.
I must tell you about a photo in yesterdays Times. There was a shot of a blue heron with a water snake in its beak and in the water snake's mouth was a fish - apparently the snake escaped (but not, one assumes, the fish!)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I am so enjoying your nature entries. You are doing what Wordsworth called the "harvest of a quiet eye." I love it that you are sharing these treasured moments with us.

I write for an Ohio magazine called Farming-People, Land, and Community. One of my favorite nature writers, David Kline, is the editor. Have you read his book Great Possessions??

Winter joys to you, Sharon

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

There has to be en element of both bitter and sweet to any life lived well and full. You simply can't have one without the other. It is like love…you can't love fully without taking taking an emotional risk. You have to put yourself out there. Be open and honest and vulnerable. To do any less robs both the one who loves you and the one you love of the real joy and magic. I want my life to be lived as fully and well as I can manage…and yeah, I'd rather have the bittersweet than the bland.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Given that a snake's teeth usually slant—or point—slightly backward—into the throat, the poor fish may have come out the worst loser.

Hey, I wouldn't have a problem printing and mailing you the quotes…but they'd never make your stocking on Christmas morning. I'm good, but I'm not Santa Claus!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sharon…

I am so pleased you've found your way to the riverbank and liked what you saw. I just made a quick visit to your blog (I'm on the way to bed, after an exhausting day, so could only stay a moment) and will certainly be back for a good look around. I see a mutual interest in toad housing. :-)

I'm not familiar with the magazine or the book from its editor, which you mentioned—though his name sounds familiar. I'm surprised I didn't come across it the writer or the book in my book review column—especially if it has an Ohio connection.

I'll be interested in hearing from you again, and will certainly drop by your blog when I have the time to read and explore. Please know you're always welcome here at Riverdaze.

Hildred and Charles said...

More wonderful images of the joys of Christmas, whether they be in anticipation or in the memories we hold dear in our hearts. Thank you again....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred and Charles…

That's what gives Christmas such richness—the anticipation and the memories; the spirt of the season, both reflective and expectant. I'm glad you're enjoying this countdown.

Bernie said...

Grizz, I have thought about your words for a couple of days now, they really touched my being. You are very wise my friend and if your words are truth I have lived a very full life. I know you don't follow me so I am not sure how you figured me out so well....but thank you for sharing your not only your poems and photo's this beautiful season but a little piece of you, so much appreciated.
Have a wonderful weekend...:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

I believe with all my heart that what I've said is not only truth, but one of the most important keys to be discovered and embraced in life.

Life was given to us to be lived—not for ourselves, but for others, with others, through others. You have to get involved, have to take chances. That's where the adventure and wonder and blessings are to be found. Joy is in living. No risk, no reward. You can fall in love unexpectedly…but you have to open yourself to that love and return it to reap its full potential. A lot of people never know love because they never admit love into their lives, never give love back in the fullest measure. Love is taking that jump off the cliff and finding wings and learning to fly on the way down. Love requires courage and trust; you can't love safely.

And I'm talking not only romantic love, but it's also the love you can have with family, friends, and humanity in general. Embrace fully; give back fully.

Can/will you get hurt occasionally? Absolutely. In fact, if you're not, you're probably holding back. You don't look for failure and hurt and disappointment—no one wants rejection, loss, heartache—but it's part of life when you're giving it your best shot. The measure of someone is not how many times they get knocked down, but how many times they get back up.

You are wrong in thinking I don't follow you blog, BTW; I do visit. I'm so glad you've decorated for Christmas this year. The problem with putting things away because they bring up memories that are painful—for example, memories of those you loved so dearly who are no longer around—is that you also hid from view and thought some of the sweetest, dearest memories of those same people. Every so often I look through the boxes of photos of my family—Mom and Dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, days and times all gone now. It makes so very sad. And I always cry. I can't help it. It breaks my heart. And there I sit, a grown man, holding a snapshot in his hand, weeping. But every time, beneath those tears, I find so much love and happiness, too. I wouldn't trade that for all the gold in Fort Knox. I'll take the tears and aching heart any day to have known—a be able to recall—the warm, blessed joy of my family and growing up. I can't have one without facing the other. This is life's truth. Bittersweet, indeed, but so worth it!

Bernie said...

So true Grizz, I hadn't really let go of the past, but I was moving forward the best I could. I too would rather have known the pain than not have had the love in my life I was so blessed with.....I still love life and look forward each to each new day as I am sure you must.....I think everyone has pain in their life Grizz, it's just how we choose to deal with it and I always try to turn a negative into a positive....I like to think I am a positive person but hey I'm human and have a bad day now and then.
I think it is nice that you admit you are able to cry over meaningful happenings in your life, it is important to feel these feelings.
I also was happy to know you do read my blog once in a while, thats nice Grizz as I am really not that interesting. People like you and Wanda have so many things to offer everyone, your photo's, poems, baking receipes, and I enjoy both of your blogs very much.
Have a great Sunday my friend...:-)Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

We all have bad days. That goes with the territory, with caring.

I can't speak for Wanda, but I'm sure she'd be the first to tell you that happiness is a choice. That you love life by embracing life—and that means loving and caring about people. You underestimate when you think you're not an interesting person. You most certainly are; people wouldn't read and respond to you if you weren't. One thing I know emphatically about you from reading your posts and comments on various blogs…and that is you have a good, warm heart. The world would be a far, far better place if we had whole cities filled with folks such as you. You have a sweet and lovely spirit…and that's the most special gift of all. I'm glad and blessed to have you as a blog friend.

Bernie said...

Your blog friend says thank you very much.....:-) Hugs