The Thanksgiving celebration has been rich and peaceful in my local community this year. We began on Tuesday evening with the arrival of my sister, had a traditional turkey dinner on Wednesday evening, the “vigil” of the holiday, and enjoyed a special creative feast on Thursday replete with gifts for the birthday of one of the Sisters. Yesterday brought a “virtual visit” for one of the Sisters with her nephew, niece and grand-nephew and today we’ll see another family of nephew and grand-nieces “in the flesh.”
The rhythm of comings and goings, of relaxing and sharing conversations, meals and even an afternoon movie over several days has been a rare occurrence for me. To let go of the need to be engaged in the mental activities that fill my days even when I am not physically engaged “at work” is surprisingly difficult. I am reminded of one of the “conditions for purity of heart” postulated by Simeon the New Theologian in the 10th century. He speaks of equanimity as “freedom from all cares, bad and good, except one care, that is: simple presence, being in the now.” I woke up this morning with my calendar for December running through my head. Perhaps a good Advent practice (beginning tomorrow) will be to attend to responsibilities while staying where I am when I am there and to be present to whatever grace is given, moment to moment. A good preparation indeed for the coming of Christ into my heart!