“All is calm, all is bright. . .”

“I like being around you because you are a calm person,” said a student I had some years ago. Oh wow, I thought at the time, I must be some actress. I rarely felt calm when I was teaching, although it was a quality I yearned to have, deep within, especially at Christmas.

As I have aged, and especially this year, I feel that sense of calm increasing. After retiring from ministry in September, my spirit is much more receptive of the deep-down serenity that often alluded me during my busier years. Perhaps calm is merely an ideal we strive for our entire lives, but only catch fleeting moments of here and there when we are generative, busy, and restless for more. When we are privileged to live longer, time does not slow down by any means. However, slipping into the stillness is no longer another task on the to-do list. Time spent in contemplation opens the door to the timelessness of the Holy One, a welcome respite any time of the day.

Today, I sat by my fireplace and gazed at the Nativity scene. I allowed the words of “Silent Night” to breathe through my consciousness. “All is calm, all is bright” then permeated my whole being this second day of Christmas.

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