Advent Options

It's a busy time of year for all of us.  Even if we are not Santa, we have our lists. Even if we are trying to keep Advent and not rush to Christmas, there's still much to do. Shop, wrap, mail to people far away. Cook, attend events, visit. Put gas in the car, buy groceries, get a hair cut. Participate in seasonal (or regular!) outreach opportunities.  Decorate. Write cards.

When life gets this way, I am tempted to put my nose to the grindstone and grind away. No time for fluff, be efficient. Do what needs doing in all areas of life. And of course in my line of work, there is a lot that needs doing. All of the regular priestly activities - pastoral visits, funerals, preaching and teaching, meetings - plus extra seasonal ones, including helping people with their holiday anxiety.

So, last weekend I faced a dilemma.  I had a day off and my instinct was to get out my to do list and go at it with intention. I really have a lot of stuff to take care of. But then I thought, hey, it's going to be 65 degrees today (in December!) and when will I get another chance to go to the beach if I don't go today?  What to do?

So I went.

It was such a good idea. For all the usual reasons - fresh salt air, exercise outside, saying my prayers as I listened to the ocean and watched the beautiful waves and sky and the sunset and all that. You all know how I feel about being at the ocean. Plus the winter-at-the-beach thing - many loons in their winter plumage riding the waves, some tundra swans and gannets who have come south for the winter doing fly-overs.

And the best part was a large pod of dolphins cavorting just off shore. Almost as soon as I arrived, I saw them and followed them up the beach for several miles.  I love seeing them - they have this other life underwater and every now and then come up to let us see them. Sometimes they are playing and you can see just enough to know that they are having fun. It was wonderful to watch them.

And I thought, right. I was going to vacuum and buy the same yogurt I always buy and look for a parking space in the shopping center, and I would have missed this.

Getting stuff done is good and important, but it is not always necessary. Make the decision to feed your soul and pick up some yogurt on the way home from work.

What I saw at the beach last Saturday.


Ray Barnes said…
Good decision Penny. Sometimes food for the soul is more important than food for the body.
"What is this life........?"
I envy you your closeness to the ocean it has a wonderful hypnotic relaxing affect on me too.
As for temperatures as high as 65. !!!
Here it is just below freezing most of the morning and about 3 or 4 above in the afternoon.
Enjoy your good fortune.
Perpetua said…
65F in December, Penny? The beach would have won for me too, no question. It's -4C here as I type and not forecast to rise above 0C all day. Brrrr!!! I love the beach all year round and envy you your dolphins. :-) I hope the workload seems lighter after such a refreshing day.
Indeed, Ray! Proximity to the ocean was a big selling point for moving here. It's cooler today but we have had quite a spell of warm weather this last week. In the 70's a couple of days. It's odd, actually, going out to look at holiday decorations in shirtsleeves!
Thanks, Perpetua. I certainly had a busy Monday, but then I would have done whether or not I "worked" on Saturday. We are enjoying the warm weather, but it won't last. And it does raise worrying questions about the environment. My husband reports that the neighbors were out putting up Christmas lights in shorts on Sunday.