Saturday, December 20, 2014

to recall

All cleared out, no furniture left on the upstairs screen porch anymore, or I’d be out there with Saturday morning. Not as it brightens, the day is overcast. 52F and 79% is not bad, but the 6mph breeze --- . So I’m up here in the bedroom with the porch door open to enjoy. Looking into cedar trees through sparkling clean windows on the east side, out over St. Andrews Bay to the south. Trees have grown up, trees that pictures show were not here in the old days. Temptation is strong to cut every tree except the cedars and MLP, all of which have always been. Like the old eternal rocks.

Like my favorite verse in the Trinity hymn that we call St. Patrick’s Breastplate,

I bind unto myself today 
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

Cedars are different. Unlike many other trees, they refuse to sprout out where a branch has been cut off. I once counted the cedars here but don’t want to again right now, but enough to christen this place Cedar Hill. Or maybe The Cedars.

Unlike Lent, which is forty days, Advent is four Sundays before Christmas Day plus any residual after the Fourth Sunday. We think of Advent as four weeks, but it isn’t. In fact, when Christmas Eve falls on Advent Four, Advent is only three weeks, and we never know quite what to do with the Sunday morning, sing songs of expectation or wax Weinachtenisch. There is this view,

But as an XMAS protagonist, my favorite of the season is this that Jane posted.

There’s always sapience online about the ignorance of people who grouse about X for XMAS, I’ve done it myself. The sign says it best, keep the Xristos in XMAS. 

My turn in the pulpit tomorrow morning, what to preach about, GOK. Being as it’s Her day, Mary Sunday, maybe something about the BVM? Joe drives out of W-S, NC early and says expect him mid-afternoon. 

Our church’s Sunday morning bulletins during Advent always include an insert inviting folks to make a contribution in commemoration. Sometimes we do that, this year we did. Plus I have another stirred by this sentiment, which appeared on FB this morning, but which I’ve edited so it speaks for me.

Many we love died too soon. We remember them often in a thousand different ways -- in the morning -- in the night -- before dawn as we see harbor lights and the green light takes us out to sea and beyond. When we look at the stars, or the moon. On the calendar, a date. In the air, a song. A place. A touch. A smell. A taste. A regret. A memory. A longing. A road. A sadness. A joy. We light a candle to recall them to our side.

In this season for happiness and sharing and the Salvation Army person ringing a bell over a kettle outside every store, are many who have more memories than hearts can bear. My Christmas gift is to have them in prayer.


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