Advent week 4 lasted just one night this year, but what a night it was!
The last full week of Advent. This week we lit the third candle and relished the simplicity of these quiet evenings.
Jasper isn’t sure about all this deep cleaning and food preparation.
I’ve been saving the clementine, orange, and lemon peels for making cleaner. Just fill up the jar and add vinegar. Let sit in a dark place for 2 weeks. Strain out peels and dilute with water. I do a 1:1.
Yoga, every darn day . . . right after my walk, followed by meditation.
Advent week 2 passed quickly and quietly. All gifts are purchased and wrapped. We wrap all our gifts in wool tartan fabric or canvas bags (depending on the size).
As we continue this season, I find I truly love our rustic and eco-minded Advent wreath. The beeswax leaves such a delicious scent in the air. So far the first tealight candle is still going strong.
#Rough — Kelly cut this nice round of wood for me to use as the base of our wreath.
#Wild — Our parish practiced stenciling on t-shirts and canvas bags for a big upcoming project. This beautiful heart reminds me that faith can be a wild ride at times. It also reminds me of the line “Let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.”
#Grow — As I grow in faith, simplicity becomes more meaningful.
#Smooth — My inflammation buster tea. I’m seeing benefits and enjoying the tangy taste.
#Cry — Happy tears as our son turns 30. He taught me motherhood, unconditional love, and a fierceness.
Watch: Deleted my FB account. Watching drops of water fall from the branches. One at a time. Slowly. Peacefully.
Focus: Deep breaths. Self-care. Gratitude
Night: I love watching the flames dance in the wood stove at night. The crackling is almost hypnotic.
Light: Morning has broken like the first morning 🎼 I have a truly awful singing voice, but I’m singing some old favorites this morning anyway.
Sprout: I start my days, lately, with a mug of Casablanca Twist tea from Adagio Teas.
Advent — Here is last year’s blog post on Advent. It is much more my philosophy and this year’s post is more pragmatic.
Since renewing my commitment to live a small and regenerative life I notice areas where we are doing ok, but could definitely make some improvements. This year, Advent is getting a slight makeover.
Last year: Advent wreath with paraffin candles, and plastic bits and bobs attached to a wreath frame.
Not too bad, but I wanted to look at how the candles of Advent could be carried forward through the year, how we could use non-paraffin candles, and how the wreath itself could be changed for one that could reflect the seasons.
What I’ve come up with is a wreath made from our grapevines, sitting on cardboard, with glass candle holders, beeswax candles, and seasonal decor filling up the spaces between the candles. Ideally (and ultimately), I want Kelly to bring in a round of wood just the size of the wreath so that it becomes its own little table/stool/home altar.
I melt beeswax into little plastic tea light cups (that I use over and over again). I do have to buy the wicks, but I try to find the hemp ones. About 4 years ago I bought 2 pounds of beeswax and we are still using it for candles and salves. Bees are hopefully getting added to our little farm sometime in the next few Springs. That should make the beeswax even better!
Each evening of Advent, we light the candle(s) and this year we are reading David Cole’s A Celtic Advent..It is a quiet, peaceful transition into the darker evenings. It lends itself to less television and more reading. Just the way I like it!
What I’m reading: The Celtic Way of Prayer, New York 2140, A Celtic Advent
What I’m listening to: The Last Star and Harry Potter 1 (Sad, but true fact: When we first got Jasper we listened to HP audiobooks every night as a family. Jasper always fell asleep and I would carry him to his bed and then go to bed. Now, he sleeps best if Jim Dale is reading in the background.)
What I’m watching: Nothing this week
What I’m learning in Welsh: Lots of vocabulary, a bit of grammar.
- plus a ton of review
What I’m thinking about: Rainwater collection systems, gravity fed household water supply, designing a “sustainable village” for an author, and Advent.
Forest Church: A Field Guide to a Spiritual Connection with Nature
by Bruce Stanley
Read October 2018
This might be the most important book I could ever recommend to a Christian environmentalist or someone wondering what we ought to be thinking and doing when it comes to creation care.
It isn’t technical. It doesn’t lay out the answers. It doesn’t tell you to change your lightbulbs (although you should).
What it does is inspire you to take your connection to creation one step further. Just one step . . . But, my goodness where that one step might take you.
Ch 1 — Why Go Outside?
- thin places = places where the boundary between heaven and earth is at its most transparent.
- First Nations — mountains, water, woods, rock, and river
- The Food Story and The Sacred Land — This might have been my favorite section. It breaks down belief, lifestyle, and impact of forager/hunter/gatherer vs food producer. I actually got a lot of good ideas for our little farm from this section.
- Eco-mindedness and biophilia –embracing our environmental challenges is an urgent issue that we must address.
- NDD — Nature Deficit Disorder the only cure is go outside
- Flow — the end of activity where your skill level in in balance with the challenge lever
- gapped for air we;;-being
- walking, cycling, drawing, climbing, foraging, playing, gardening, reading, knitting, journaling, photography,
Cha 2 — Reading the Second Book of God
- Nature-a wild place, “other than human place,” but size is flexible.
- 3 ways into Nature/Creation:
- awe: Isn’t it amazing? deep sense of connection, as we is the beginning of wisdom
- study: academic exploration, “What is it?”
- meaning: search for insight and relevance, imagination.
Ch 3 –Participating with Nature
- Pg 53: Ps 115:16, but “Im not sure were up to the responsibility.
- Permaculture–people care, earth care, and fair share
- value in nature should be recognized and protected
- higher value –>primary use
- example: pure water –> cook, drink, wash :: grey water –> flush, etc
- example: energy –>solar or wind :: No to fossil fuels
- example: tree –>oxygen, shade :: limbs, dead wood –> heat home
- Be with nature rather than going “into” nature. i.e. participate
- From Dominator to Participant
- Dominator–nature exists to support humans, raw materials for profit
- Steward — still seen from human perspective, recognize that their are limits to natural resources, entrusted with use not consumption
- Partner –nature as ally. Animals as allies. life as an interplay of life forms.I am separate but conscious and ethical. Sustainable, organic, ecological care
- Participant — I exist within the mix of interdependent and interwoven life forms, I am part of nature, respect because of intrinsic value, eco-centric, set limits. Be regenerative not just sutainable
- Which am I? How can I move toward participant? It is imperative that we move to being a participant.
- Regenerative because we have a long way to go to get back to where our systems were actually sustainable.
- pause before you enter a wild space
- slow your soul
- be aware when you intervene in nature
Ch 4–Developing Your Wild Side
- well being accumulates daily through nature connection
- more by walking, eating, sitting, working, reading outdoors
- sit spot, journaling, giving thanks, wild camping, distance hiking, growing your own
- following nature’s rhythm: day/night, lunar months, Light Half/Dark Half of year (equinox and solstice)
- The only equipment you really need is;
- comfortable footwear
- decent jacket
- water bottle
- first aid kit
- phone / camera
- notebook with pen or pencil
I am planning a series of posts where I explore these ideas more in depth.
What I’m reading: Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #11, The Celtic Way of Prayer
What I’m listening to: Arthur
What I’m watching: Doctor Who, The Good Place
What I’m learning in Welsh:
- Yn well
- Yn waeth
- wedi blino
- Pwy dych chi?
What I’m thinking about: regenerative eco-mindedness . . .
Clifty Falls State Park, Trail 2/7
October 13, 2018
This was a really great introduction to Celtic thought and interpretation of the Bible. Definitely a keeper!
Grounded in the physical world, enlarged by the “runes” (symbolic), and applied by the imagination.