in preparation

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“Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide.”

“Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.”

“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness
and thus to open doors of hope.”

Last week, we wrote on the peace and hope we find in this season and how to prepare. How does somebody prepare for peace? Often, in winter and before our various winter gatherings, the preparation is in food and gifts, clothing yourself to bear the weather. On the inside, we prepare differently. The writers say that the holidays are a difficult time for them, being separate from family and these traditional preparations. They explore finding new rituals to honor the season. We prepare by writing together, calling up and sharing our traditions and memories, and bearing witness to each other.

In the writings below, you will hear a few accounts of their experience to which we bore a snow-like witness, their words as footfalls on the page.

MY LAST CHRISTMAS

Before long, I will celebrate Easter,
a most holy Christian holiday.
I will smell the ham cooking.
I will set a beautiful table.
I will be so busy; I just can’t wait.
And I will focus on the ride home
chauffeured by my son in
his lime green Geico car.
Three smiling faces will greet me:
Nick, Angelo, and Abigail.
I wonder if that trip will be quick
or will it seem to last forever.
I picture my front door of red
adorned with a brass knocker
that displays a welcoming pineapple.
My hands will surely be shaking
as I grab the shiny ornate handle,
my cheeks will burn
from the constant smile on my face.
My heart will rejoice as
I take my first step,
over the threshold, a tear will fall.
I am joyful and triumphant.
This is my last Christmas here. Hark!
CMP

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the coming winter

Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.

As the winter approaches, the writers in CRCF feel the changes they can’t see. Days get shorter and colder, we start to imagine a blanket of snow on the bare trees, and guess when the first flake will fall. Because we can all go outside and experience the change firsthand. Our guesses are based in a physical knowledge and what our senses ring when we step into a certain shade of gray, a certain temperature drop. We know by how the air smells that snow will come. 

Our writers are left to imagine this. They remember in this. And that is what we asked them to do last week in our writing group. We said, “What do you think of when you hear the word ‘winter’?” What followed was a flood of images and memories of everything they remember. Below, you’ll find a handful of these memories.

Winter

When I hear the word “Winter” the first thing that comes to my mind is snow. The white beautiful layer that covers not only our ground but up above as well, for our rooftops and tree branches also receive a beautiful layer of the shining white snow. I also think of the refreshing brisk air we get that opens our lungs every time we step outside our doors, the ways it whisks through our hair, hits our cheeks and generates in through our nose and mouth is literally breath-taking at times but also refreshing all the same. Which then leads to remind me of my love for winter even more, bringing me back through my childhood and to adulthood as well. I remember rushing my mom to help me get me ready to go outside so I could make my family of snowmen in our front lawn for everyone to see, along with my snow angels that were resting next to me. As I remember these days , it just goes to show that some traditions never change or go. For everyone winter that comes, I’m now the mom who’s rushing herself to get the kids ready to run out the door. One thing I do that I believe must always come next is just before the kids come back in, I have them some hot cocoa with fluff or marshmallows to add in. Winter to me is the joy that it brings which is often forgotten by those that decline to enjoy this time as it’s here for just a bit because once it’s gone that beauty goes away. Waiting to come back next winter day!

AS

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