Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent. In Sweden that is when Christmas really starts. The darkness feels well established now. We go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Everyone is tired, as if their bodies are craving some sort of hibernation. It feels like night has descended on our world.

With the coming of Advent every window seems suddenly aglow with lights, the traditional advent row of candles ascending from each side to a peak in the centre. Candles have become a part of our daily life. Lighted stars hang in windows, a reminder of the star of Bethlehem so many years ago. Yesterday, to celebrate Advent, we joined our church home group at a house near us, to drink tea and eat cakes and saffron buns and sweets. When we walked home through the fog at 5 o’clock it could easily have been midnight. Later we ate rice porridge with cinnamon and milk and sugar.

Today the fog has not lifted, making the day little more than a waft of greyness between the blackness of night. The street lights shine yellow now through the quiet mist that envelopes our neighbourhood. The tree branches are bare and black, silhouetted against the dimness. All is quiet.


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