advent journal: in other decembers


“The shadows are deepening all around us. Now is the time when we must begin to see our world and ourselves in a different way.” (Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet 246)

in other decembers

It has done nothing today but rain.
In other Decembers, there would be
snow to go along with the carols.
Instead, the clouds are weeping and
we’re caught under a sorrowing sky;
the sun has been setting since dawn.

Some of these shadows are as familiar . . .
In other Decembers, there would be
fewer absences of heart, less empty seats.
So I’ve come in from the rain, lighted
the candles of memory and melody,
pulled up a quilt of what might have been.

Out beyond the weather of my heart
there are storm fronts that demand
attention, people waiting to be found
or remembered—some are waiting for me
to see more than shadows, to reach out
in the darkness, to snuff out my fears.

In other Decembers, I will not be here,
nor you. Someone else will have to sing
back to the night, build the bonfires of
hope, tell the stories that name us.
Not yet. Though grief is a primary color,
grey is not the only shade of life.



  1. “Though grief is a primary color,
    grey is not the only shade of life.. ”

    Those are such powerful words! I have sent them on to 4 other recent widows too. We have had intermittent grieving in between Christmas joys with grandchildren. Thank you for the comfort.

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