I have decided once again to participate in #AdventWord, the global online Advent calendar sponsored by Virginia Theological Seminary. Today is the first day of Advent and a wonderful day to return to my sadly neglected blog.
Unexpected is a strange and serendipitous choice for the first Advent Word of 2019. I call it strange because expectation is the very essence of Advent. In my many writings about my favorite season of the liturgical calendar, I have often pondered the appropriateness of the Spanish word esperar as the perfect expression of the Advent trinity: to wait, to hope, to expect. But now we are asked to reflect on precisely its opposite: not expectation (and its brothers, waiting and hoping), but its absence. And therein lies the serendipity of the choice.
For just yesterday, my husband, two dogs, and I returned from a Thanksgiving weekend excursion whose joys were, for me, in the realm of completely unexpected. Through most of my adult life, I held fast to the mantra that whatever adventures I might embark on, I would sleep in a bed at the end of each day. I have broken that pledge on a few occasions that admittedly offered unforeseen moments of magic–mostly sunrises and a few sunsets on the coastal plain and the coast of North Carolina.