It’s Christmas Day. The flurry of activity that led up to Christmas Eve has settled into a quiet day of rest and family time. Later, I will put together the lasagna for our Christmas supper, and tomorrow will be filled with cleaning up after last night and preparing for Sunday’s worship, making visits and phone calls, and getting ready for next week.
But this is Christmas Day. It marks the beginning of the season of Christmas. Isn’t it good to know that there are still twelve days to celebrate peace on earth, good will to all?
This is the hour of grace, this sliver of time between two times:
the time that has been, and the time that will be.
This is the moment of lightness, this moment between
the sadness of departing, and the joy of arrival.
I am on the cusp, at the very edge,
lingering at the point of turning.
The line between the work I leave behind
and the work I am about to do is a fragile one.
Treasure this moment, this sliver of time.
Be at peace.
Photo by Helen Van Wyck, used with permission.
Our little suburb is putting in new streets. It’s been a five-year project, and our street is part of the final phase. Before they can start digging up the old roadbed and begin actual construction, however, there’s a lot of prep work that has to happen. Giant holes appeared in our lawn last week, surrounded by yellow tape and barriers with lights that flash into our bedroom window all night. They have replaced all the sewer connections, and are now working on laying new water and gas lines. When all the utility work is done, they will start tearing out the old asphalt. New curbs and concrete driveway aprons will go in. Several lucky homeowners will find a runoff basin “rain garden” in their front lawns (my husband likes to call these “mosquito farms”). Finally, after six to eight weeks of noise and dust, we will have a beautiful new street.
We decided to go with the flow on this one. We aren’t planting a garden this year. Tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce have given way to marigolds and whatever else was dirt cheap at the garden center. The flowers will hold the soil in place while the dust flies, and I hope they will brighten the otherwise gloomy prospect of a year without fresh basil and tomatoes.
We are giving the garden – and ourselves – a sabbath rest. Lying fallow lets the earth replenish itself, and we don’t have to worry about synchronizing our canning schedule with the other events of our lives. We don’t have to worry about weeding and fertilizing, or pest control. Just letting the ground be ground for a season frees us to do things we may not have had time to do otherwise. Like sit by the firepit in the evening, or read a book that has been gathering dust on the “to read later” shelf. Or just be.
How do you allow yourself some time to lie fallow, to listen for God’s still, small voice, and to sit at the feet of Jesus?