Christmas letter

The calendar tells me November
ends tomorrow; Advent then
I click on the Christmas play
list, slide the everyday
celtic cross from its silver chain,
slide on the glass venetian gift
I keep for purple seasons
of waiting. And I wait.

I wait in vain for the sky to turn
to blue from grey as Arthur's Seat
crouches beneath its misty covers,
looking lonely - or is that my
reflection in the window?

I wait for light as I have never
had to wait for it before, winter
followed by winter, naturally,
with the exchange of climate to pay
for dreams. I have heard
that though the heat will rise
in other parts, on this much smaller island
cold and dark and wet will
intensify, so flutter the wings
of butterflies.

I await salvation, liberation,
though I enjoy less, less clarity
and quality of that picture,
for me, at least. Could it be
that my dis-ease is not my own,
but yours and ours together, and I
will be free when we all
sleep peacefully like little ideal
babies in our mangers - an image
so ideal we keep it safely out
of reach, our freedom, though we see
that path to follow.

I wait for joy, for expectation –
celebration – though I have not learnt
how to sing my song in this strange
land, am stranger, am unknown
neighbour, am alone.
                                   This matters
here, now, as it has not mattered before,
and I do not know if I will be home
for Christmas, in my dreams or through
the screen, on these streets so cold
and unfamiliar, for home
is but a memory, my seat left
empty with others waiting for my return,
a hope new born of necessity,
since I have flown into adventure.

I wait; for Advent is a season for
our waiting, for blue to turn to gold,
for light in darkest night, for joy to sing
us into life, for hope's embrace
and love's return. What will come
this Christmas, what life be born
through ancient story – I wonder,
as I wait this waiting so unlike
any I have ever known,
this year,
with you, alone.

(c) Sarah Agnew


GlenB said…
Achingly beautiful. Oh Sarah, I weep, I wait with you. For the time that is to be. I wrap you in love and hold you to my heart, humming a lullaby of hope and peace.
Marnie said…
I read this and weep the tears I didn't weep when you left in September. Sitting in the chair where i sat & wept that first Christmas after Mum/Nanna died...similar feelings of the empty chair this Christmas. But you will fill the chair again some time and in the meantime we share the adventure as best we can. Lots of love - Mum

Popular posts from this blog

On hearing marriage might be restricted again in our church. Midweek Musing.

oral communication and the relationship between speaker and listener

Diary of a chronically exhausted vicar. Episode 6