Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | November 29, 2010

Beginning the Winter’s Rest

Anyone who has a television and access to the weather thereon will know that Montana has begun her long winter’s nap.  Winter came on, in all her roaring glory, soon after Jim and I arrived back home.  The temperatures plummeted to well below zero, and the wind blew away all the cobwebs, all the dust, all the left-over scents of too much humanity and left me with a clean and clear soul, ready for advent.  

Note that I spelled that word with a lower case “a.”  Though I work at a church, amongst simply wonderful people of the Christian faith, and while I love the Christmas season, I tend to view the coming holy season as a time that has been holy for a lot longer than only the past two thousand years or so.  Humans have, for a very long time, spent the time now approaching in our current calendar in retrospect, in soul-searching, in mind- and body-preparation.  We hunker ourselves down, draw ourselves in, and yes, perhaps we kneel in complete adoration of the marvel that is life.  

In much of the world, certainly the part I live in, dark comes early, now.  We have long and lovely dark afternoons which slip simply into long and restful night.  Candles and fireplaces flicker. Outside the sky deepens with a velvet feel that is not there in a summer sky.  Humans come home to their hearth; animals hunker down in their burrows; the trees, grand and tall against the velvet sky, have already drawn their sap into the heartwood.  Yes, now is the time of advent.  

I see myself, and all of nature, gathering in for a rest, but it is not a rest of non-doing. It is a rest of preparation; a rest of garnering energy; a rest of …, well, a rest of advent.

My dictionary’s first definition of the word “advent” has it this way: “arrival or coming into being.”  Yes.  That is what this time of year is all about.   This time of year I view myself and nature as a newly fertilized embryo, protected from the outside world by a warm and comforting silence.  The embryo needs the protection and the silence, but there is a lot going on in that mantle of protection.   

We don’t often think of this, but the root of the word “advent” and the root of the word “adventure”  is the very same.  The first definition of “adventure” in my dictionary says “an undertaking involving risk, unforeseeable danger  or unexpected excitement.”  Hmmm.  We rest ourselves now so that our bodies and minds and souls are ready for the coming adventures of the new year.  We grow ourselves now, warm and resting in the blanket of silence and calm, allowing our beings to gather the marvelous and awe-inspiring strength that will take us into the new year with grace.  

Hunker down, there, my friends, by your fires.  Don’t waste your energy running hither and yon trying to follow the crazy commercialization of the season that has been foisted upon us.  Go back farther in time and in unwritten memory, to the fires of our ancestors.  Rest.  Nourish your souls.  Cherish the embryos that are forming. This is your advent.  Allow yourselves the time to gather strength for the unexpected excitement that is sure to come.



  1. …with a hot buttered rum in hand.

  2. Dear Cousin Kimberly, my you write so beautifully, I agree about how Commercial every thing has become, however there are ways to give from the heart instead of the pocketbook. As for the resting part, I’ll save that till February, I’m too excited about Christmas to rest in December. Love & Hugs, Joy

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