Sunday, January 29, 2006

Adeste fideles, laeti triumphantes.....The main event has begun. The processional of midnight mass moves the cross, the candles and The Word down the aisle, and as it was foretold and prophecized, Our Lord comes to us. As Catholic people of faith, this and Easter Vigil mass is where we live. I always cry as the candles move slowly down the main aisle of the Cathedral and I never, ever don't think of my brother, whose favorite carol is 'Come All Ye Faithful', and our childhood in my beloved Coeur d'Alene; I always offer a prayer of thanks for him, for that and for my parents, who wait for us. Life is so exquisite sometimes. After mass, we retreat to the solace and sanctity of our beds; we all share some kind of a reverance for good linen and down pillows that borders on a holiness that's usually reserved for shrines and this fetish deeply suits us early Christmas morning. We go happily with The Sandman who still leaves pajamas for the children here, now adults who vote and pay taxes. Christmas has come.

The day begins late and is leisurely. We talk on the phone, eat, play dominoes and entertain the Chows' thoughts on a variety of topics, mostly around the facets of napping. We are happy and relieved for the partridge is in the pear tree. We party and laugh and run around into the New Year or until it's time for everyone to go back to their jobs and their lives. The Twelve Days of Christmas always end just in time because we are exhausted with food, fun, and frolic. This riotous rejoicing and celebrating is tough work. The Chows and I agree that then most special part of Christmas begins.

After Twelfth Night, things slow down to a creep. It gives us lots of time to think about the events that shape the destiny of Christendom. We review in succession the events of advent: the visitation (Hail Mary! Full of Grace...who me, Lord? But I'm 16 and he's an old man and we're not even married)...the announcement (For unto you, born this day)....the laying in in the manger (She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes)....the gifts of the Magi (For we have seen your star)...But it's only in the January that we have the time to contemplate the events subsequent to advent that are central to the life of our Lord. The Slaughter of the Innocents, the escape to Egypt, the Presenation at the Temple are the parts that I can lose pretty easy, but are the parts that put the final bricks in place of The who we are and what we believe. I relish the quiet time of January, with the nativities, to think about these things and what they mean and to begin to prepare for what lies ahead in the new year. And the value of the Christmas decorations and pretties around me is incalculable, as it keeps me ever mindful of the rich and abiding blessings that have been visited upon my head. I have much to live up to.

So today's the day. Bring on the year.

The 'Kan EWA

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