In the Northern hemisphere, the blending of winter and the Advent season evokes powerful symbolism. The winter solstice, marking the longest night of the year, is just a few days before Christmas. Winter creates a spirituality of focus and clarity. The cool crisp air allows for greater vision with clearer days, nights and more vibrant sunrises and sunsets.
Winter strips away much of the customary landscape. Bare trees reveal details of branches, bark, and silhouettes that are easily overlooked in the other seasons. The sun’s low position in the winter sky creates an array of seasonal shadows which slowly glide across the landscape. A fresh blanket of snow will transform the drabbest landscape into one of breath-taking beauty. The roughest terrain becomes smooth. The familiar becomes obscured and in so doing draws our attention to a transformed world. Winter changes our view of the world.
These attributes of winter serve the Advent season well. Advent symbolizes a transformation of the world. A light is framed within the darkness. Advent changes our view, directing us to a different vision, a new focus and a world transformed.