Advent is well underway and I’ve been endeavouring to keep my mind focused on the coming of the light. Light is such a powerful concept: it’s both a wave and also particles, and it only takes a small amount of light to vanquish darkness.
At the same time, I feel very aware these past days of how short I fall of being able to “live in the light”. Tempers are fraying, the Dafter has oodles of homework (a chance to refresh my algebra and geography), Michael is working every blinking minute of the day and night, we’ve got colds and we’re still battling through the snow and ice after two weeks. There are presents to make, wrap and send, and concerts to prepare for, and shouldn’t this be enjoyable? We’re all very tired, and counting the days until we can have some time off. What better opportunity could I have to focus on light? What better opportunity to just lighten up! But it’s hard work, mentally.
However, my notes from my trip to Crathes Castle this summer have revealed a timely piece of advice.
Several rooms in the castle have 16th-century verses painted along the sides of the rafters, so that as you look at the ceiling from the end of the room, the lines of verse follow on one from the other. I noted this one down:
“Giue not ouer thy mind to heauines, and vexe not thy self in thyn awin counsell.”
[“Give not over thy mind to heaviness, and afflict not thyself in thine own counsel. ” The Wisdom of Sirach 30, v. 21 King James Version (Vulgate Ecclesiasticus)]
To me this says: Stay in the present moment and just get out of your own way! That sounds to me like a good method of focusing on the light. That, and counting my many blessings.