Thursday of the First Week of Advent
You, O Lord, are my lamp;
my God, you make my darkness bright. Psalm 18:29
It is full night outside as I being to wash the dinner dishes. I pour a small amount of dish soap into the pan and then place it under the hot water faucet to fill. As I dip the sponge into the soap bubbles and begin to scrub, the pleasant lemony smell tickles my nostrils, and I am suddenly transported to a childhood visit to my grandmother’s house. I must have been ten or eleven. It was Christmas, and as a gift I had received a fancy glass bottle of bath oil.
As I stand at my kitchen sink looking out into the darkness, I smell again that lemony bath oil and see instead my grandmother’s handsomely appointed bathroom with the tub filling. I experience the anticipation of one about to embark on a sophisticated venture. For a fleeting moment, I recapture the sensation of being a young girl on the verge of adolescence and am conscious of pride and reverence at having received an elegant gift.
One whiff of lemon evokes all this. I am humbled by the strength of memory that connects the haven of my kitchen with the sanctuary of my grandmother’s house and the gift of God that makes both moments accessible simultaneously.
The darkness of the evening is dispelled by reminiscence and something more; the strength of God who makes all times and places one. The light shines on a young girl who smiles at her middle-aged self. And the stars in the crown of the King of kings light the way to a babe about to be born.
Copyright Anne E. Kitch 2013