The split peas and ham bubbled away the day in the crock pot.

All day the house smelled like anticipation.

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Having returned for a week in the midst of my semester away, I find the house both familiar and strange.

Words that have graced the library wall for years seem to speak anew

to this day and to this time in our world.

The verse below on the right says:

Let thy soul walk softly in thee
As a saint in heaven unshod
For to be alone with silence
Is to be alone with God.

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As I write these words, I am alone with silence.

I am alone with God.

The children and grandchildren are driving south from east and west of here.

I pray for their safety, grateful for their willingness to drive in the dark.

So that our circle of love around the table be unbroken.

The lights are on in their rooms.

The South Africa Room

The South Africa Room

Mennonite heritage room

Mennonite heritage room

The sleeping bags for the 5 and 4-year-olds.

The sleeping bags for the 5 and 4-year-olds.

We’ll have three precious days to be together.

We’ll break out the old recipes, covered with spills from holidays past.

Potato buns from a cookbook given as a wedding present in 1969.

Potato buns from a cookbook given as a wedding present in 1969.

On Thanksgiving Day, we’ll add uncles, aunts, and cousins, 19 of us together.

Holy chaos will ensue.

On Friday, we’ll cut down a tree together in Singer’s Glen.

Decorating as we sing songs and tell the old, old story.

A simpler Christmas this year.

A simpler Christmas this year.

The waiting tonight fits the season of Advent we are about to enter.

It’s a season that I have felt in my body ever since I became a mother 40 years ago.

It’s a season that again quickens my inner life.

The sculpture below, which resides in the Stella Maris Chapel next to Lake Sagatagan, has spoken to me often this fall.

Here in Virginia, tonight, I am just another expectant mother.

Waiting.

“Madonna with Child,” the work of the distinguished artist, Alexander Tylevich. Photo by Aelred Senna, OSB

“Madonna with Child,” the work of the distinguished artist, Alexander Tylevich. Photo by Br. Paul Jasmer, OSB

Are you waiting today? How would you name the object of your anticipation? If you are having a “holy chaos” family reunion, tell us about it and enjoy! if you are waiting in silence, please share what that is like for you, I hope the poem above spoke to your condition and brings you quiet joy. May you be blessed by Gratitude itself.

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