In the dictionary, advent (uncapitalized) means “a coming into being or use.” Advent (capitalized) is a season on the Christian calendar leading up to Christmas. It is a time of waiting and anticipation and preparation.
So, I begin. I am digging deep and digging out. I am writing and searching. I am reflecting and praying. I am working on some spiritual work. I am meditating and finding. I am taking quiet time. It seems appropriate to do this in the noisy holiday season. In the flurry of shopping and parties, I refrain. I sit back. I find the silence in the early morning. I find the quiet when I am finally able to quiet my mind and instead listen to my heart.
I realized the conflict that I felt in my heart. I realized that I needed to examine it more closely, because my words and thoughts and feelings weren’t matching. I took a deep breath and realized that there is a lesson here. The lesson that needs learning keeps showing up, like an uninvited guest that I don’t want to face. For a couple of years, this lesson keeps knocking on my door, riding in the empty passenger seat of my car, showing up in dreams, leaping into my head in the middle of a long run, chirping as a notification on my phone. Somehow, though, I would rather ignore this rather persistent, and pesky lesson. As much as I love to teach and learn, this is one I have not been ready to face. After dealing with some outer layers and some lessons in my heart and inner core, I am finally ready.
I have set out an extra seat at the table, as a visual reminder. I have cleared out the front passenger seat in the car, where I usually throw my purse and books and work stuff and gym bag. I have given it space next to me in the mornings during my meditation on the floor and next to me on the couch when I begin my morning journaling.
Now, that I have invited in my guest, I need to be quiet and polite and listen. The thing that I have been most afraid of learning, that I thought would be a wild and scary monster is actually quiet and calm, yet eager for my company. It wants to listen to me and why I ignored it for so long. Why did I fight it?
This guest sits there and hovers. It realizes that it will be there, with space and time and an invitation. We sit there a bit uncomfortably, but with relief at finally meeting. We size each other up and we begin.
There is work to be done. It will be hard. It will be easy. We begin. Advent, we are coming into being.