Nearly Advent

This time of Sabbath is nearer the end than the beginning. As I move from this time of holy rest to returning to my community renewed, it is fitting that this last month will be in the midst of Advent–that most countercultural of church seasons. Filled with the color blue for hope, and words like expectation, waiting, silence, listening, promises revealed and fulfilled.

For over fifteen years I’ve come to New Mexico with my best friend during Advent. The last three years we’ve stayed in a beautiful small house called La Casa de Los Abuelos, the house of the grandparents. Which is what my best friend and I are– grandmothers. This Advent I am waiting for the birth of a particular child– my second grandson, Jonas.

My image, my icon, as I start this season of mysterious expectation is a fresco I viewed at St. Mary’s, West Jefferson, North Carolina, during my fresco pilgrimage earlier this month. This expectant Mary, stopped on the road, one hand cradling the new life to come, and the other hand raised in greeting? blessing? fills me with quiet thought.

A very good place to be in the House of the Grandmothers, this cold November morning.

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