My 4th experience of community during this week of Advent was with my staff. The week before Christmas break in a school is so exhausting. Kids are checked out and crazy, staff is worn out, Christmas concert preparation, etc...let's say we are all ready for break when it arrives. On Thursday (not knowing for sure that we'd be off the next day), we had our little staff Christmas gathering after school. It was lovely...nice conversation, low key, yummies...I stepped back and observed for a while and thought...wow! The energy was so positive and cheerful, despite the tiredness of the days before. It was a delightful time and people seemed to enjoy it. That's a happy!
I used to think (although a lover of Advent as a kiddo) that Christmas was this burst of JOY and EXCITEMENT...that it all started with that day. In light of my 4th week of Advent experience, I realize that unless the journey happened, the JOY and NEW LIFE could not be the end result.
Oh geeze...now that I type that...I think--"Great, Kate...that's one of those insights that has multiple meanings." I know this entry will come back to bite me sometime; another Spit in your Soup moment courtesy of the Fun Nun.
I found this simple poem written by one of my nuns, Sr. Irene Zimmerman, in her book Incarnation, which spoke to me this morning in my prayer time: