And so it begins...
It is the eve of Advent IV. I went to the ordination of seven transitional deacons today at the Cathedral. It was lovely, as always. The music was great, there was incense, I saw lots of colleagues and friends, I remembered my own ordination and the confusing swirl of emotions - excitement, nervousness, pride followed quickly by anxiety (is this the right thing to do?), pleasure, a sudden wondering if I were up to the task. It was a beautiful day, that day and to-day.
Tomorrow is Adent IV, with the children's pageant in the morning and Lessons and Carols (again at the Cathedral) in the afternoon. And in between and after all of that, comes unpacking and decorating - we have our tree up (still naked), and I am beginning to get the Christmas things out.
And then there is a birthday, and then the arrival of our grandchild (and his parents), and then it's Christmas Eve with multiple churches and services. And, yikes, a sermon to write somewhere in there. And then grandboy's first birthday!
I feel the swirl of emotions again. Christmases past, ordinations (how many have I been to now?), family, traditions, music, decorations, lights, birthday cake (my baby turns 16!), a new pattern this year with Mom living in town and a new child in the family. Old and new (now I have Mom's Christmas linens) together as always - familiar and yet different every time.
It becomes hard to focus on Advent for much longer once this chain of events begins. I keep it at bay as long as I can. But now the quiet will give way to the hectic that has been tugging at the edges of Advent for a couple of weeks already. I guess I am ready - as ready as I'll ever be!