Advent Word/Day Eleven

I’ll admit I had to look up the definition of winnowing to refresh myself on its meaning. According to the Oxford English Dictionary:


/ˈwinō/ verb

gerund or present participle: winnowing

  1. blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff. “a combine cuts, threshes, and winnows the grain in one operation”
    • remove (chaff) from grain. “Women winnow the chaff from piles of unhusked rice”
    • remove (people or things) from a group until only the best ones are left. “Guidelines that would help winnow out those not fit to be soldiers”
    • find or identify (a valuable or useful part of something). “Amidst this welter of confusing signals, it’s difficult to winnow out the truth
  2. LITERARY(of the wind) blow. “The autumn wind winnowing its way through the grass”
    • (of a bird) fan (the air) with its wings. “The emperors of the sky winnowing the air”

As I thought about the meaning of the word, I kept coming back to the thought that during this – as in every – holiday season I need to “winnow” my expectations and plans for the amount of activities I wish to plan and execute to ensure a properly celebrated holiday. It always comes back to the same thing for me – the desire to live in the moment and, be here now rather than constantly looking ahead to the next thing. At the same time, the Advent itself is a season of anticipation and looking forward. I suppose like everything in life, there is a balance that must be struck. In any event, I need to get back to winnowing that list!

-Karri Temple Brackett
December 7, 2022

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