Monday, December 24, 2007

Silent night

Aside from the dogs' grumbling a little at the occasional street noise, it's dead silent here tonight. Or rather, it's a live silence, as if the earth is waiting. Outside, the sky is clear and cold, and the moon is brilliant and nearly full. Next to the moon shines Mars, so close to the earth tonight that it shines more brightly than any star I can see.

J., his mother, and his sister have gone to bed. The kids are sleeping elsewhere, to free up beds for family, and will be back in the morning. I am treasuring what is left of Christmas Eve, as the world and I wait for Jesus to be born yet again.

For the last week or so I've been engrossed in Matthew Fox's book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, a wonderful overview of Creation spirituality. I'm really loving the book, but every now and then the author says something that sends me spinning off on a tangent with memories of childhood, and then I realize that fifteen minutes have passed and I haven't read another word. But Fox's view of the spiritual interrelatedness of all things makes perfect sense to a person who picks up rocks and stones and brings them home. I have been doing this for years, and I can't tell you why -- but I have a whole collection of rocks from various places. I'm hardly a rock expert; I have no idea what they're made of, for example. All I can say is that it seemed important to pick them up and stick them in my pocket. I guess they speak to me in some way. I have a few on my desk, and they seem perfectly pleased to be here.

(I know, I know, you're all thinking, Man, she needs to get out more. Point taken!)

I guess that's why I love the language of the Psalms, where nature seems so conscious and alive. In the Psalm for tonight, Psalm 96, for example, we read:

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
before the LORD when he comes,
when he comes to judge the earth.

I may just open the curtain here and take another look at Mars, my own personal Star of Bethlehem on this holy night, and wait (again) for Jesus.

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