Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. C.K.Chesterton
Advent begins tomorrow, tomorrow being Sunday for those of you who have lost track of the days with the Thanksgiving holiday; and Advent, for those not familiar with the rite, are the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Advent, or adventus in Latin, means “coming” and the coming birth of the child Jesus.
As a side note to Advent and angels, it’s funny to compare the language of Black Friday, with which commerce begins the season, with Advent, in church language. Ah, yes, once again the combination of sacred and secular.
I like Advent; but then again, I like Christmas, too, with all the candles and lights and twinkling and pine boughs and stores filled with people and Salvation Army Santas ho-hoing outside. I like it all.
And especially, I like calling in the blessing of the angels every First Sunday in Advent, as in tomorrow, which I do every year.
I don’t know what “angels” are. Oh, I know names and concepts and what other people say they are, what other mystics have said, but I’m a rather pragmatic mystic. I say I don’t know. What I do know is that I can feel the energy like velvet against my skin and a trembling along my shoulders. What I also feel is humble. We call; they come.
I also particularly like the idea of taking this season lightly. Pushing and shoving to buy is not my idea of lightly; neither is a penitential demeanor. These are holy days and are meant to be celebrated.
The tides and times of the earth year, if nothing else, demand ceremony. All ancient peoples knew this, whether in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern. I think of my friends who live in the Southern Hemisphere at the high earth-tipping-times, the Solstices, and I celebrate their days of full light as I celebrate our days of deep stillness as we wait for the return of light.
It doesn’t matter how we name these times: they are sacramental holy-days.
I want to remember to hold myself as lightly as angels this holiday time, to laugh at the burned cookies because my wings lifted me into distraction, or the ornament that somehow all by itself grows wings and flies from the tree to shatter on the hard reality of floor. We could all probably take note of the hard floor and practice our landing, toes pointed, wings fluttering, oh so lightly.