It's Advent again. The days are getting longer. Summer officially starts tomorrow! It's getting noticeably warmer - I've appeared in my favourite 3/4 pants a few times, and sandals are definitely making a comeback. Nights are still cool - there was a serious dew this morning - but the numbers of covers on the bed are reducing gradually.
The colours have changed at church, and now it's purple everywhere. The liturgy has changed too - finally Ordinary Time is over (all 34 weeks of it, most of it after Pentecost!) and we're into the season of being aware. For me, Advent is a "deepening" season: the colours at church deepen from green to purple, the sky deepens from the light blue of spring to the deeper blue of summer, the leaves are beginning to darken up a bit, shadows are darker, light is brighter. Deeper inside too: making space for the one who is to come, at Christmas and to us. There's such a feeling of refreshment when Advent begins: after all those weeks of Ordinary Time it's back to the beginning of the year and the start of everything, and all the prayers change again. It's almost as though one is dowsed in cold water after sitting in the sun for hours - a shock, but a refreshing, welcome one. All things are new!
As is our custom, the Christmas tree went up on Advent Sunday, the Advent wreath came out, and the journeyings of our Nativity figurines began. I've spoken about this before, and we always find it a very special, fun way of thinking about our own journey through Advent. It's also fun finding the "special" decorations: each year we each choose a special decoration from Kircaldie & Stains, and finding them in the box is always fun as we return through Christmasses past. Unfortunately this year, we found one of my "specials" (a gorgeous teal-green bauble with a leaf pattern all over it) had smashed in the Christmas storage box, despite careful packing last year. However, it's the first decoration that has broken in 10 years so we're not doing too badly, and all the really precious (and smashable!) stuff like the Nativity set was fine.