This Advent our church has designed an Advent Garden in our newly restored, redrained, resodded, and replanted Garth. Walkers enter the spiral one by one, carrying candles that are fixed into apples for holders,
and stroll at a leisurely pace to the center. They light their candles from the Advent Candle,
turn and walk out,placing the candles in chosen locations among the pine boughs. This ritual appeals to all ages and brings all five senses into play. The last time we laid out the garden, many years ago now, a storm came up in the night and blew the boughs around before covering them with a layer of crusty snow; no one walked the Advent Garden that year. This year, however, Advent I was balmy, with a gentle wind that only threatened the flames, but the candles managed to burn on, creating a beautifully quiet, peaceful and holy space. What better way to bring ourselves into Advent and the Garth back into use after four years of rebuilding and reconstruction.