Next Sunday marks the start of Advent. I’ve been an atheist for a long time, but the idea of fasting and contemplation in preparation for a feast still makes sense to me. One of my very favorite poems reads:
We have tested and tasted too much, lover,
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.
from Advent by Patrick Kavanagh
‘…charm back the luxury of a child’s soul’ is close to my mantra. I want that more than anything. Or perhaps I want to want it more than anything?