The coming of December….

November is over. It has been an unusual fall. The joy of the new house, and creating a “home” in it has been in sharp contrast to the sadness of losing my sister. The life of work at this time of year is always hectic and busy, and that has been compounded by the home life that is in disarray and trying to get it ordered and unpacked. The weather has often been dreary and sad.. we had over 10 inches of rain in Nov… which filled our pond, but also kept us chilled and damp.

And now we turn our sights to December. My emotions are all over the map as I contemplate creating holidays for my children worth remembering, focus on the meaning of this time of year, reflect on all the changes and try to look forward to a new beginning. It seems too much.

But life goes on, and Advent will bring me through. The process of preparing the heart for the birth of the Saviour is something I can grasp on to.. even cling to, this year. The winter of life, the death of my sister, must come before the rebirth of the spring, and her eternal life. And all pivots on that joyous Christmas birth. How can I not take part?

Thanksgiving was a practice. I was able to cook a turkey and enjoyed cooking with my younger boys. We did visit with family and eat wonderful treats and it was okay. Lost of sad moments for me, which I kept inside, but I did survive. And life goes on.

This weekend, the youngest and I went walking around our land and prepared our Advent wreath. Normally, we do this communally at our church. Everyone gathers together and shares their greenery and makes their wreaths. But church is somewhere too tender to visit yet. I am afraid of my response during the service. I am too raw. So we did ours at home, and it was fun to name the plants for him, and collect the best branches.

Rose hips from the wild Carolina rose, magnolia seed pods, rosemary in bloom, alder cones, pine, blue spruce,.. treasures from our yard making our wreath cheerful and bright.

Our traditions are very much in keeping with the Waldorf traditions the children get at school, cross pollinated with Episcopalian ritual. So the youngest picked shells and rocks for this first week, and next week plants will be part of the picture.. we will add some moss or something. Then the wooden animals will show up, and finally the Mary and Joseph. We have this wonderful arched divider between living and dining room that we are putting everything on this year. In the old house, we used the table and the hutch and the stairs, depending on the year. But the constancy of the tradition still shows.

“Advent, Advent, the candle burns.

Advent, Advent, the candle burns.

First one, then two, then three, then four,

Then stands the Christ child at the door.”

December, welcome. Welcome to your joys and sorrows, your new and old, your familiar and strange…welcome.

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