Polar Vortex doesn’t begin to describe what it feels like to face a Chicago winter. Unfortunately for us Windy-city dwellers, the cold has already started. (My children are currently hunkering down in the basement rather than trick-or-treating in what our weather forecasters affectionately call “lake-chill effects.”)
Today, as I watched snow whip around my backyard, PTSD set in and I wondered out loud: how are we going to get through another winter?
I think that’s a question a lot of people ask when they realize they’re about to go through a winter season: whether it be an illness, a move, divorce, death, walking through recovery, or sadness. Just the thought of having to push through one more hard thing can cause panic, rage, foolish behavior, and all out psychosis.
So, how are you going to get through winter? Well, is it too early to whisper the word Advent?
Advent is the reminder that we don’t have to lie down and wait to die. We can move. We can plan. We can come together in the cold and be joyful. Advent reminds us that while we wait, in the midst of pain, there can be something memorable. Something precious.
Advent reminds us to hope and to hold on to hope, even when we know that spring isn’t coming anytime soon.
Advent reaches out to us like a parent loving on a colicky-child with whooping-cough and whispers, “it’s going to be okay.”
Advent teaches us how to walk day-by-day with patience and perseverance until we see the tide turn and the light shine through once again.
Advent wraps around us like our favorite blanket and allows us to be real with our fear and concerns, all the while promising that it will stick with us and guide us to a better place.
And so, even though advent doesn’t begin for four more weeks, I think the Christmas music is going to have to come on the radio in our house earlier this year. Because I’m going to need Advent if I’m going to make it for five more months of those dear arctic wind chills I’ve become so accustomed to hearing about.