2pm, Thanksgiving day and I was on my way to the grocery store in search a mop, milk, flour, a pie tin, creamed corn and pumpkin pie filling, having just gotten off the phone after asking my long-suffering mother for her scalloped corn recipe and tips for making pie dough. After getting lost enough to turn a ten block walk into something more like twenty, I found the Food Bazaar, and in it everything on my list (except for the pumpkin pie filling, which was of course sold out, and the pie tin because when I got back to my apartment Mark kindly pointed out that what I brought home was actually meant for cakes).
I also ran into the answer to the perennial question of where to buy candles for the advent wreath. Any store that serves a largely Mexican population has seven day candles, usually with brightly-colored pictures of Jesus, Mary or the saints decorating the glass. They also make them in plain colors.
I'm really ready for Advent this year. A week or so ago, after coming home from work as the sun was setting, I pulled out my yoga mat and hadn't been sitting on it for more than ten seconds before I started crying. The tears weren't because I was upset about anything in particular, but because I had finally given myself the space to recognize the sense of heaviness I'd been feeling. Nothing of particular significance had happened that day, and perhaps that was part of it. The thrill of learning a new place is wearing off. The routines in work and life that were reassuring a few weeks ago have started to feel mundane. I have to learn to hold on to the meaning and significance of what I do without the excitement. The difficulty of the situations my clients are in and the limitations of the help I can offer are part of the heaviness too. And, most basic of all, the shorter days and leaving work when it's already dark weigh on my spirit.
So I am ready for Advent. Ready for a way to mark time that both transcends and gives meaning to the rhythm of work-home-sleep-work-home-sleep. Ready to anticipate the arrival of something truly different, of a kingdom of justice and peace. Ready to celebrate the light shining in the darkness, both in the lengthening daylight after the solstice and in the birth of Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus.