I've gotten quite a bit of mileage during the last few days out of this photo, taken one evening last week. Here it is again, on the second Sunday in Advent.
We brought the tree in from Hunter's a week ago for the historical society's window on the square that Friday evening after Thanksgiving, then moved it to the front porch of Stephens House to serve as a greeting during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. It's lighted from early evening until about 10 p.m., and will continue to shine out through Epiphany.
The tree reminds me for some reason of home, although the farm house I grew up in had neither a two-story portico nor double parlors. But you can see a little bit of the barn roof through the side porch.
It reminds me, too, of the ancient Advent theme --- light shining into darkness.
And there was plenty of darkness last week, too. Earlier in the day on which this photo was taken, I lowered the flags on the big pole a few feet away to half-staff, remembering the 14 who died in San Bernardino terrorist shootings. On Nov. 27, three died at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs --- another terrorist. In both instances, religious motives, Islam in the former and Christianity in the latter, seem to have been involved.
The only antidote to darkness is light --- so here's an appropriate song for Advent, too, remembered from brief exposure to the conventional Christian world of Sunday school. Guns won't light the darkness, nor will politicians with messianic aspirations, but followers of Jesus and the other great teachers, including the Buddha and Muhammad, can --- if they will.