Magnolia seeds are covered with a red waxy coat. Birds love them, but propagation of the tree from seed is difficult because of the process of extracting the seeds and preserving them. A row of Magnolia trees grew along the edge of the schoolyard that adjoined the yard of the house where I grew up. As a little girl I admired the beauty and fragrance of their blooms and played with the glossy leaves and brown suede cones, delighting in those red-coated seeds. There were always so many, and more would come the following year. I never thought to ask why there were no trees that sprouted from all those seeds.
In a similar fashion, we are surrounded by words as Advent begins and the calendar counts down to Christmas. Beyond the noise urging us to commercialize and socialize and make our list of things to do, there are words that can help us to be quiet and still, to reflect, to simply be. It is these words I would like to extract and preserve as Advent begins.