For the past couple of years I’ve had an Advent thread in my Ravelry group which I’ve used as a kind of online Advent calendar – each day posting a photograph, usually but not always, one that I’ve taken from around the area I live in and my home and sometimes with a few words to explain why I’ve chosen it.
This year I’ve decided to move it to my blog – this being the first year I’ve kept a blog! – although I will probably continue with the Ravelry threads too.
As with last year, the challenge is for me to take sufficient photographs for me to find something to post, having lost a large back catalogue of photos 18 months ago (my bad; there really is a reason to back up your laptop) so to that end I took my camera with me on my daily walk yesterday. At this time of year there roads and fields around my home are driech and drear. The autumn colour has faded, the grass and such greenery that is still left looks tired and spent and the frosts and snow haven’t yet laid their magic mantle over everything and hiding the drab aspects of winter. To find spots of colour and interest requires lateral thinking and stopping to slow down. You have to look close…
It struck me that that was actually quite appropriate. Advent is of course the season of waiting and preparation for Christmas, but you don’t have to observe a religious season or festival to benefit from taking the time to slow down and ponder and look at the world around you with fresh eyes. The whole world (or at least the online version of it) seems to have been caught up in a frenzy of marketing and selling the past weekend and a whole host of strange “festivals” I never knew existed seems to have been invented in the name of making money. Whilst Black Friday and Cyber Monday leave me puzzled and dismayed, I know that I only have to step outside and shake off the virtual clamour for my money to reconnect and breathe again. I found it interesting that the walk I took was 45 minutes on the outward journey when I was stopping to really look about me and yet it was only about 20 minutes hiking back up the hill.
I’ve been working quite long days to put together fibres for my online shop – and whilst this gives me great pleasure and I love the fact I’m able to work with colour and fibre and earn some of my income from doing it, the temptation to drive myself is great and thus remove the enjoyment from that privilege I have. Reminding myself to pause, take time to look and reflect on the good things I have is relevant every day but something I think I’ll try to make more of this Advent season and not lose it in the crush of holiday preparations. To try and strip back the physical preparations for festivities, to let go of some things and concentrate on the things that matter.
To everything — a season, and a time to every delight under the heavens: