One of the things that the Celts were particularly familiar with—then and now—is absence. As a community, there is a deep appreciation for what isn't, for the hurt, the lost, the lonely, the maimed. In Dublin today stand three statues on the short of the main river, statues that are a reminder of the Great Hunger (not what gets called the potato famine, because there were plenty of potatoes, and no famine, it was just that food was being sent elsewhere by the rich and the poor were starving.) The figures are emaciated and hurting, sending their children on ships that might never see land, in order to give them some kind of future. Heather, though green and beautiful, is harsh and rips the mouth if you or a sheep tried to eat it. We think of the rolling hills and the green, but do not engage with the absence of food that they actually hold. To the Celtic mind, what is absent is almost as present as what is with us. Both history and the future comingle with their not-here-ness. This is the posture of Advent, especially in these days as we wait for Christ's return. Ponder what is absent in your life right now. What do you long for? Where is your hunger and what does it do to you? How might this, too, be Advent? #celticadvent #2022

Posted by Tara Owens, Abbess at 2022-12-03 17:22:24 UTC