This time of year is about traditions and rituals, rehearsing familiar practices that remind us of all we love and who we love.
This time last year, those traditions were cruelly and terrifyingly disrupted, as isolation lingered longer than ever imagined. So we wrote little notes like this one after we put the tree topper away. More than a reminder of whose turn it would be to place the star on our festive ficus, it was a prayer for something better to greet us when we hauled the decorations out after the world made a full cyclical ritual around the sun.
Yet, masks we still wear and Covid still hovers over this holy season like a new traumatic tradition. And the promise of “God with us,” which centers the stories we recite these next four weeks, can feel both distant and broken still. So the waiting of #Advent once again is trivial and tired.
But it’s what we have. It’s what those who first conjured up these stories, maybe even lived them, had. As poet Nadia Shihab Nye wrote, these stories keep us warm in the cold, when #promise and pain are familiar ritual.
Also, a year later, four of six in our house are vaccinated, with the other two ready to be poked by year end. That keeps me a bit warm, too. It’s somewhat promising.
This annual discipline is spurred by the good people at AdventWord.