I worked a landscape job back in college and it taught me a lot about nature. Toward the end of the summer season we planted bulbs—tulips, daffodils, and irises. I went and visited my boss on a cold gray December day and recalled the blazing hot day he had us out planting those bulbs. “Oh yes,” he said. “Those bulbs are very busy now. You can’t see anything above ground, but beneath it all, next Spring’s growth is already beginning. The bulbs are storing up energy and setting forth little tendrils. Even on the darkest, coldest day, something important is happening deep beneath the surface.”
In Advent, I think of all the bulbs and roots beneath the earth’s surface. It’s a time of seeming dormancy. But looked at in a different light, in the midst of death, new life has already begun.
Slow down this Advent. Honor the season inside you. Take naps. Read long novels. Daydream. Welcome grace. Eat hearty soup and stare out the window at the skeletal trees. A lot is happening out there. A lot is happening in you. Trust like Mary, who said, “Let it be done to me according to thy word.” Guys may have a hard time with that language, but that’s a major lesson of nature. Let it be.