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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Waiting on Change ~ Advent

Mother of God, Lovingkindness
As evenings grow darker, I find my thoughts traveling to the Advent wreath.  In years past, this is the weekend I would likely be panicking about the fact that I had, yet again, failed to order the candles on time.  As darkness falls on lengthening nights, I yearn to light that first tiny flame--a herald of the coming of our Savior.  But, I have traveled East, and Advent wreaths are not an Eastern Rite tradition.  So, I am tossed in a sea absent Western traditions and spilling over her banks with unfamiliar Eastern ones.  It is easier to fall into the familiar arms of traditions that you have grown up along side, than it is to immerse yourself in new ones--let me tell you.  So, I-- who have lived 49 years ordering my life by the rhythm of the Western Christian calendar--stand in Eastern icon corners and search my soul for the warm, familiar feelings of home.

Large Rectangular Veil in Brown w Pink Accents ~ RCVM6
I am sitting in a quiet house today.  My husband is sorting through mail and the dogs are snoring in the narrow ray of sun that the blinds let in.  Elyse is two hours' drive away.  She'll be home in a handful of days to sew and to don veils for new listing photos before Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving, I'll have two adult children at home for awhile.  Twice the love.  Twice the hope for a marvelous future.  Time flies by and change is both joy-giving, and ruthless. 

I know that she will leave us to make her own life, but will stay in the warm embrace of family as she grows into that life, and forms it.  Her life will be different from mine, yet will be shaped and influenced by her time in our home.  All who came before her have put their stamp on her being--on her living.  Just as an Advent wreath glows in the shadowy night corners of my heart, she will hear, in the distance, 1900s cattle lowing softly in the snowy night.  The scent of warm bread dough rising while tucked snuggly in the back of an 1800s covered wagon -- kneeded by the weary hands of a foremother looking west to Zion-- will waft gently on her nostrils.  She will startle-- gently, briefly-- as she places bare feet on the ground along those of her little ones, at the feel of the rich soil of the Tetons squeezing up between her toes.  And then, she will look down to see that it is not really there--in her vision, but is written on her heart.

And, she will remember.  She'll tell the ancestral stories to little ears.  Her children will appear as if they are not listening, but, their hearts will hear.  Their souls will record love of Christ and family--and stories of those who bequeathed these things to them.  And her children, too, will remember.

Liturgical Time : "..Because of the Angels"
So, then, life continues on mercilessly, and change bursts in to reveal that all the things that really matter stay the same.  I'll remember this as I pull my western Advent Wreath out of the sideboard this year and my youngest -- my only -- lights the first candle.  Because, the dust of trails traveled clings to us as we move forward, and then falls gently on newly discovered ground, to enrich it.

He's coming friends-- our Lord, putting on human flesh to become one of us and to grow strong and wise, to teach us, and to conquer death and the grave.  Are you making room?  Are you sweeping corners and wiping shelves and taking stock of your heart and your household?  Advent approaches, in the East and in the West--He is coming. Let us prepare ourselves and our homes, and make Him room.

Pax Christi, dear ones,

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Pax Christi!