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The time of waiting and anticipation

by Karen Boyd

As I put pen to paper, it is November 6th, the first day of the time change back to standard time. I am by nature a morning person and I love waking up to the sunrise. It feels like morning has broken, and it is wonderful. Today was a warm, sunny day, but there is an off-and-on freeze warning this weekend. It is time to prepare the yard for winter. The hibiscus trees were moved as close to the house as possible. The Boston Ferns were snuggled up next to the trees, all in hope of keeping them alive.

This last summer was brutal. We battled the heat and the drought. Many of us struggled to give life to those plants we chose last spring before we knew the challenges summer would bring.

By August, everything was crunchy; even the peppers refused to put forth fruit. But the triple digits stopped, and the plants began to recover. And now, everything is in bloom. The geraniums are covered with bright red blossoms, the pepper plant is heavy with jalapeños. Just in time for the frost.

This makes me somewhat pensive, their valiant struggle to live through the summer, their triumphant explosion of blossoms and fruit, only to be finally bested by the coming winter. I need to remember nothing created lasts forever.

I love being part of a liturgical church, watching the seasons come and go, the colors change, and the readings cycle round and round. Not just a wheel in space and time, but more like a bicycle tire that as it turns takes us down a path into eternity, always moving. The festivities are soon upon us, but this year looks different. They all do. Loved ones have been lost, new babies born, and children have grown taller; the world has changed. The wheel has turned and the holidays are here.

Shining out within this season is Advent and it’s “not yet Christmas.” This is the time of waiting and anticipation. The color that adorns the church is blue, the blue that is the color of the horizon when the sun is just about to break through the darkness. It is Mary’s blue. This is a time of expectancy as we wait with Mary and Joseph and all the angels for Jesus to be born. And, it is a time that we wait for Jesus to come again. We wait for the light of Christ to break into this world in splendor and glory.

It is getting dark much earlier than a few, very short months ago. I like this earlier darkness and the cold that comes with it. Creation turns in upon itself, but in this darkness, there is preparation for a reawakening. I feel a certain peace and stillness within this dark. Soon enough houses will begin to shine in the night with strings of brilliance. I like to imagine this light as an expression of the joy in waiting that is felt from the center of our being, the place where God resides.

Here’s wishing you all to be wrapped in the love of God this season. Breathe deep of the Holy Spirit and find peace. I pray that we all take this turn of the wheel to find re-beginnings, that we too may make his paths straight as we wait for our Lord.

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