It is windy outside, one of those November winds that scour the last of the leaves off the trees. And yet it is not cold: the wind hits my face as I stand at the door calling cats in for breakfast, and it is soft, full of the mist of morning.
Fast year, 2003. They're all fast these days, faster and faster. How quickly time passes is the great scandal of middle age, the thing to which you return again and again in utter disbelief. It simply cannot be true that Christmas is just six weeks away. Didn't we just finish with it?
Only a few more pages in the office book until it's time to move the ribbon back to the First Sunday of Advent. Only a little while until we again walk through that gathering excitement, that growing longing for something to happen, with a growing certainty that something will happen.
And something always does. Words of which we never tire introduce it:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, we read, and we in the wet windy darkness of a New York November morning are those people. Get up to the high mountain; look to see it come.
God's love is breaking into the world again, as it always does. We decide whether we will be a part of it. Or just watch it idly, as if it were a television show. Or, perhaps, even oppose it.
Here comes comfort and recompense. Here comes remedy for the injustices that litter the landscape. Here comes challenge. Soon a gift will be given, as it is always given. Again? So soon?
Lean out your window and breathe in the smell of rain and dying leaves. Go outside and search the grey sky. Use today while you still have today, for you will never get it back. Another year is leaving us forever. And something new is coming. Again.