I've always thought of Advent as some sort of merry, ascending on-ramp toward Christmas.
This year Advent feels like a descent into darkness.
It's a snowy deep winter night full of unknowing and quiet waiting.
The traditional Advent ideas of hope, peace, joy and love have been replaced by mystery, darkness and descent. There's a sense of stillness that somehow feels right for this season. It's a time to sit with questions that have no answers and a future that is unknown.
I do what I am able to do: I light candles, but I don't think of hope, peace, joy or love. I simply focus on the fire holding its own against the obscurity. And I remember that light is more powerful than darkness.
And so I wait.