Advent Wait

 Tick, tick, tick.

The clock is ticking ever closer to the beginning of winter break. Who cares, you may mutter. There will be little difference, since we are all at home anyway. Yup, not me. I am one of the essential workers that , so far, has not had any cute and heartwarming commercials made about them. (In case I missed one, please inform) Teaching in person since September, I care deeply about winter break. I am tired, exhausted to my bones and want to sleep for the first week, at least. (Wake me for gift opening, please.)

I know that this holiday season has been and will continue to be weird. It is hard to know how to feel. I have been tracking through the divine office since the beginning of Advent and it has been a good rhythm for me to come back to after being out of it for awhile. I use \”The Book of Hours\” collection by Phyllis Tickle (Maybe I will be able to put a link in here like a grown up blogger. 🙂 and she has written one just for Advent through Epiphany.

 It has the usual prayers, but uses mostly texts related to prophecy about Jesus and the actual birth of Christ story.  I am also reading a companion book called \”Honest Advent\” by Scott Erickson. He is an artist/writer that I just discovered through my membership in the Evolving Faith Facebook group. It is lovely. I light candles and read out loud and to myself. It is before the sun is all the way up in the sky and it is still very dark. It is kinda magical, even though I know I have to eventually get out of the chair and into the shower to go to work. Work is real, and it is cold outside.

Advent is the season of waiting. The dark welcoming the light. The baby born in a manger. I am all about that part of it. It somehow seems darker and colder this year, though it probably isn\’t. Waiting for packages to be delivered, waiting for vacation to start; waiting, waiting, waiting. I think back to the three times I waited for a baby to come: once in August, once in October and once in May. The waiting had a different feel each time. In August, we were waiting for our very first. There were a lot of unknowns and we were very very new at parenting. We read too many books. We had a seven page birth plan. We were a lot. That one took her sweet time coming, finally needing a pair of forceps to encourage her to enter the world.  In October, we knew ahead of time that we would need an induction and so, more planned and scheduled. As if to spite us, that one came like a thunderstorm, still in her amniotic sac or caul. So fast. Cool, let\’s have a sandwich and a shower and go home. The May one promised to land somewhere in the beautiful middle. She sort of did that, though I wonder how much that had to do with how experienced we were by then. She was pretty casual about showing up. That personality trait has endured.

So many ways to wait. And so we do. We wait because we have to, because it is what we have been told to do, because we don\’t know what else to do. I have noticed that I am a great deal more patient with waiting as an-ahem-mature person in the world. Let it take its time. I got plenty to do here. Advent is expectation and hope. I can sit in hope a little longer.

in the midst,