As fall leads into winter, and light turns to darkness, I live in my home and I wait.
Home. Where the pictures are not too high on the walls, the lights are not too bright and overhead fans that dry out my eyes are switched off. Where colors abound, and reminders of the cloud of witnesses that surround us are visible, even when it’s dark outside. Where pictures of loved ones, past and present surround me. Where the lingering steam hovers over the bathroom mirror like the smoke from the incense that hovers over the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary in church on Sundays. Where the light from the windows filters through that steam like the prayers of the people rising to heaven.
Home. Where the sounds of the sprinklers coming on and the car idling in the driveway and all the busy people in their cars on the freeway one block away have now been hushed in the darkness of winter. They are still out there but I have closed my windows on the noise and the cold and I have snuggled in deep into the quiet while I wait. Where the unmistakable sound of the kitty door being tap tap tapped (because you never really know if it’s safe even though you go in and out of it multiple times daily), makes me smile as I wait for the meow that I know is coming once he sees me watching.
Home. Where the smells of honeysuckle and orange blossoms have gone dormant but they will come again; for now they await their own advent summons. Where smells of coconut and herbs and spices waft out when bathroom doors are opened and newly shampooed heads and their lotioned bodies move about within my waiting darkness. Where a plastic spoon can fall onto the metal heating mechanism in the dishwasher and fill the house with its own unique scent that is hard to ignore. Where essential oils are disbursed both for healing and for comfort as they mingle with the smells of the candles and incense that fill my home daily. Where simple meals are shared with loved ones while we await the Christmas feast.
Home. Where I put my slippered feet into a heated foot pad beneath my cool, copper desk as I work through the daylight hours. Where I thankfully accept the undeserving neck and back rubs that I receive from the hands of my husband as he passes through my office. Where I love to feel his hand resting beneath mine on my shoulder, as I wordlessly thank him before he moves on to his own work. Where warm water runs over my tired hands as I wash the dishes after dinner. Where lotion soothes those same hands as I methodically rub them together, first all fingers together, then in between each one, carefully, purposefully, making sure that each nook and crease is reached. Where I give goodnight hugs to girls that I love if I can catch them after they’ve come home from where they’ve been and before they disappear to where they’re going. Where my soft bed welcomes my tired body when I finally give in to the call of the night.
Home. Where I taste both goodness and grace. Where I taste love. In the midst of all the rushing and the worry and heartache and the pain and the cars breaking down and the chimney catching fire. It’s there, in the midst of it all, like a sacrament. It surrounds me and it’s tangible and wakens my senses and it goes down my throat and flows through my veins and floods my being.
And I wait, with expectancy.
And I wait, with joy.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.