I got up early today to take the dog for a walk. She needs at least two solid hours of exercise a day. We can carve out about ninety minutes in the morning of we are careful. Earliest is best. That way we get ahead of the casual dog walkers; the ones to get tired quickly and let their pets off to roam and poop in the woods. With a puppy--or any energetic dog--it is good to be away from the folks who flaunt the leash laws. It is no fun negotiating an encounter with another dog whose owner's only aid is to say things like, "I don't know what has gotten into her..."
Anyway, it was raining a bit today, which also kept the numbers down. It is good for the dog to get comfortable with the wet weather. It is also nice to be able to grab some silent moments in this cluster of trees surrounded by suburbia. The second day in Advent, it turns out, started well with a stroll along the Charles.
I have written about the Charles River before. In fact, it has its own category. These days we also use the Algonquian name, Quinobequin. By either name it looms large in the literature of the area. The funny thing is that it doesn't really get that big until near the end, when it nears the very end outside Boston. Here in Metrowest it is slow, narrow, and marshy. It is a great place for birds. These days I can hear the geese calling to each other, with their wings pounding and whistling as they are started by a fox or--more likely--someone else's dog on the opposite bank.
In any case it is a good way to begin the first Advent workweek of 2023. It still feels like fall and will for a while. Given the state of the environment it may always feel like that now. My family is posting pictures of snow up in Maine but everywhere is warmer and it feels strange. That said, with some effort--and the sacrifice of 30 minutes of sleep--we got some quiet in a chaotic world. The big bang of church is behind us for a time. Now the still small voice.
I leave you with this video of our congregation participating in the "Sanctuary Lighting" yesterday morning. Every year we take the readings we will use for Advent, pick six of them to listen for, and then read them together on the first Sunday. Half are biblical and half are not. It was chaotic but we are enjoying ourselves....
I am a full-time pastor in a small, progressive church in Massachusetts. This blog is about the non-church things I do to find spiritual sustenance.