As predicted, in accordance with the first day of December, I’m remarking how I treat today as the “official” first day of Winter despite the Solstice not being for a few more weeks. The weather gladly obliged my strange and child-like observation by raining heavily on November 30th and making the air quite chilly for December 1st.
November 28th marked the beginning of Advent. For those of you who are not part of the Catholic traditions, Advent is the First Season of the Church’s Liturgical Year and culminates on Christmas. Now that the cold weather is arriving, Advent and the coming of Christmas all seem to work together to create a depth of the Winter that I have yet to see before.
Winter brings with it a kind of excitement, perhaps memories long ago of childhood and waiting for Christmas morning. But even walking outside and looking into the night sky, seeing the sparkling stars and feeling the whip of the wintry winds against my phase, there is a wonder and a majesty in it all that causes my heart to praise God, to sing the joy of the Creation, a mystery that inspires love in my heart for all of humanity and a renewed hope that things can indeed be redeemed.
Believe it or not, Alabama does get uncomfortably cold, largely thanks to the amount of humidity we receive from the Gulf of Mexico.
One of the fun things in my own experience of Winter is staying in a large, old house that’s difficult to keep warm and having to avoid certain rooms that are filled with a chill. This may not be as much fun to other people, but there’s something familiar and exciting about having that one really warm room as opposed to all the cold rooms that no one is using.
Winter brings with it immense amounts of cooking- the preparation of soups and stews to help keep warm, the baking of pies, cakes, and cookies to celebrate Christmas, the making of hot chocolate, eggnog, and hot apple cider with cinnamon. Many other treats are prepared this time of year, all of them reminding us that Winter is here!
Winter also brings with it the houses lit with Christmas lights, the comforting glow of candles in the dark, the hope of snow (which is rare in this part of Alabama), and the parting with an old year and embracing a brand new one, a new chapter in each of our lives.
So here’s to frosty frolicking in Winter!