Monday, December 2, 2013
Advent Journey - On Waiting
Our living room window looks out over the back of the house - down the croft and out to the village. We are quite high up and have a good view of the main road as it comes over from Stornoway or Harris and heads North past the school and on to the coast beyond.
From this window we watch and wait. James looks out for his Dad returning from town, and if we are expecting visitors, or a delivery, we can look out from here. We can see when the school bus is leaving the next village and know how long we have to put on coats and shoes and be out at the gate. From this window we have observed the animals, waited for lambs and calves to be born, and watched the weather change.
Yet - waiting is not something we do well - especially at this time of year. So much frantic rushing around - stores open all hours, internet ordering late in the night, shops bursting at the seams with must-have gadgets, piles and piles of food. Everything is just so accessible. Children are completely accustomed to instant shopping - "Just google it, Mum!" my son informs me. We can't wait - and if we have to, we do it impatiently, feeling stressed if the delivery van doesn't arrive the next day. I know this feeling - having waited less than graciously on more than a few occasions.
But - Christmas isn't just about struggling through December and collapsing in a heap on the 25th. I remember one year, my sister and nephew came home from Canada for a surprise visit. I had no idea they were arriving until I saw them sitting on our parent's sofa. I was absolutely delighted to see them, of course, but also bewildered, confused and feeling I had missed something. It was the looking forward to their visit - the excitement at seeing them after a couple of years. So, Advent, then. is the joyful anticipation of a longed for arrival.
As we move inwards along the spiral, towards the Light, we can reflect on where we are in our own journey. How different are we this year? What has shaped us - what have we learned? It can be scary walking in our own shadow, but, it is in the darkness that seeds begin to germinate. We can ponder these things - perhaps standing in the checkout queue, watching for the postman, sitting in a traffic jam - wherever we are - let us rejoice in our waiting.