I ordered Gayle Boss' lovely advent book in mid-December and am still making my slow way through the daily reflections on how different animals endure the long, cold dark of winter. It seems, to me, to be appropriate reading for the often long, sometimes difficult, month of January. So, although advent is behind us, I'll keep reading and pondering how all of creation adjusts to survive in adverse conditions. I did, however, skip ahead to the final reading for Christmas day and found this paragraph so rich that I wanted to share it with you all.
In the fullness of time, the Christmas story says, a girl gave birth ringed by animals. She lay the baby in one of their feeding troughs, where animal bodies would warm the air around his fresh-born human body. Mother and child fell asleep and woke to their chuffs and shuffling hooves, their calls and the shuddering of their hides. Later sheep herders smelling of dirt, damp wool, and milk crowded into the stable. Out in the wild night fields these animal men sitting in the dark were the first to get the word. A baby had been born, they were told, who would show people a way out of their small pinched lives, a way to abandon themselves to the ever-present, unstoppable current of Love that carries all things to radiant wholeness. To recognize him they should look for a child at home among animals.
- Gayle Boss in All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings
May you find yourself adrift in the unstoppable current of Love this year; may you move ever closer to your own radiant wholeness.