It doesn't feel much like Advent today, even though we went to church and the star hung high over the altar. The 70-degree weather is lovely but I'm trying to remind myself that it is indeed Advent, the time to wait. I had to put sunscreen on my face before I went outside for a Sunday sabbath think at the picnic table, and the sunscreen to me smells like summer, but no leaves on the trees tells me that it's winter.
My favorite part of my time just sitting was watching five or six ducks in the little murky pond. They were hilarious. They kept ducking their heads in the water, so that their sleek silvery backsides were up in the air and I could glimpse their little orange kicking webbed feet, or whatever they're called for ducks. And sometimes they splashed all the way under! I also saw what I think was a hawk, or at least a big bird, flying silkily through the air and I thought he was going to land on the nearby tree but he completely bypassed it and kept flying. Maybe off to catch something.
These are random observations, but it was fun to wake up to the world this afternoon like this and I did a decent job of not thinking about work, or appointments, or needing to do the dishes. I tried to ask God to come in a little better. And when the leaves rustled and crunched it sounded like someone walking.
Earlier I was feeling blue because Advent makes me miss my home congregation - even though I'll be there in less than three weeks (it already feels like Advent is going fast) - and my family, that bustling busyness that is all euphoria when you know everybody involved. And I guess it reminds me that I struggle with the idea that Advent is not supposed to be about the people you're with, it's supposed to be about the coming of Christ, which you can celebrate and await no matter who you're with. Not that the people you're with aren't important, they certainly are a wonderful part of this season that involves so much fellowship. But I know there's a deeper part that I don't always get to. And that's a strange thought when I often think I do SUCH a good job of being in the Christmas spirit.
Anyway. I want to get my lights out and string them through my window and on a Charlie Brown-ish tree. And listen to mystical choir voices on Pandora that remind me of walking into King's College Chapel that one time I was in Cambridge right before Christmas and wishing that I was going to be there for "Once in Royal David's City" on Christmas Eve. The hallowed soaring stained glass windows were just shivering in anticipation of those first notes.
Lord, help me to recognize Advent even when it is weirdly warm in December. Help me to fall all the way into the water like the ducks. Help me to catch the inkling of sun through the trees. Help me to wait and anticipate joyful reunions. Help me to live within.
Here's Advent 1.2.