Advent One: Waiting

I’m in the air again. Well. Not actually yet. I’m at the airport waiting to be in the air again.

Because it’s Advent. And it’s good to slow down and wait.

This waiting was a gift to me from the airport. The jetway broke and so all sorts of reshuffling had to happen.

But here’s the thing. In the hour wait, I was able to have a coffee, talk to a friend, and look around.

Advent colors abound. Which I would have missed. If I hadn’t had to wait.

Traveling Home

While my family stays three more days in Cancun, I am on my way home. This time next week I’ll be flying home from my family Thanksgiving in Chambersville and the following week, around the same time, I’ll be flying to Oregon to celebrate Jonas’s ninth birthday.

Travel is back.

Mexico was very COVID safe and conscientious. There was required masking and lots of hand sanitizer, often with someone standing to spritz my hands before I entered one area or another. At least there was great masking by the Mexicans. Americans, not as much. We can do better.

I had to have yet another COVID test to leave the country. The timing was tied to my immunization status. Like the Faroe Islands, my test in Cancun was easy with quick results. In the US, not so much. We can do better.

The hospitality and warmth of the Mexicans I met were beyond gracious. I know that tourism is their number one source of income, but I suspect they might be as kind just because. I was also struck by how hard working every person I met was. I do wish we could work out our immigration system. I do wish we could be more welcoming, or at least more kind. I do wish we could be more welcoming of people who simply want to work and to work hard.

Next Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, I will join my friend Will Llana in the home of one of the Mexican immigrants in whose community (Plum Grove) he is planting a church. After my days in Mexico and the very little I experienced of the Mexican culture, I am looking so forward to beginning Advent worshipping with them. I’ve been told that the people who have made their home in this community are first generation Mexicans. Many have challenges with immigration and want to learn English.

I am curious. And prayerful.

A luxury resort for all

I’m not sure that I’ve ever been to a resort before. But one of the great things about oldering is there are always wonderful new things to experience. At the Moon Palace Grand Resort in Cancun everything is beautiful and there is always someone close by to make my good life even better.

As someone who lives alone, I am used to watching out for myself, and so I have reveled in others being nearby to tend to me.

My food was paid for with my room, and my son encouraged me to try foods I wouldn’t have wanted to risk paying for. Always concerned about wasting food, here it is perfectly acceptable to order something for only a taste.

My morning coffee and a bowl of Mexican pastries has been delivered to my room to begin my day. Yesterday I had avocado toast with my early coffee. The day before a bowl smoothie with fresh fruit was carried to my door.

Yesterday we went out into the jungle to tour Ek Balam Mayan ruins. As we traversed steps and uneven terrain, my daughter in law stayed near to make sure I was steady. It’s a gift to know I can get help if I need it, and a greater gift to have someone who anticipates when I might need a little extra assistance.

This care, generosity, and beauty has come with a price tag which I willingly paid to share a vacation my Bend family. Time and again this gift of abundance has drawn me back to the deeper awareness of the abundance that God has given to me—and each and everyone of us—for free.

Time and again this trip I have been delighted by the grand surprises that God places before me. Prayers of worry tended to. Gifts of creation that pop into my path. Joy of sitting at a table with people I love. Peace sitting on my deck in the morning with birds singing me a song of greeting.

Only a privileged few can come to a luxury resort. That is the way of the world. All of us live in the kingdom of God. Now. That is the way of God. There is no comparison to the true luxury of God’s Palace.

I am grateful.

A lark in Mexico

My son planned to have a fortieth birthday celebration in Cancun. And then there was a pandemic.

So he rescheduled his trip for this week and invited me to come along. My mother said, “Isn’t that sweet that he wants his mama to come along?“

How could I miss a few days with my Bend family? I’ve already offered to spend grandboy time so my son and wife can have couple time. Of course!

My flight was an easy one—and I saw rainbows in the clouds as we flew over the Caribbean. It is supposed to rain a bit while we are here so I’m hoping to see more.

I’ve been here more than a couple of hours, negotiating slow immigration and travel between terminals. People have been very gracious and helpful. My Bend family has landed and is now making their own way through immigration.

This is the cleanest airport I’ve ever been in though nary a chair in sight. My suitcase is my makeshift sit upon. This whole trip has been the most mask conscious of the pandemic.

I have wifi so I can text and read and write. I have my music. So I’m in Cancun. Waiting. On slow time. Because that’s we do.