Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Monday greetings from a cold and snowy Chicago. Many of you know that I am a huge fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. I was privileged to attend last night's game. During the game, a snowstorm came through Chicago, giving us about three inches of light snow. When I returned home, I was struck with the beauty of it all.

I live in a small place and, with visitors scheduled to arrive the day after Christmas, I decided to place the Christmas tree (with a set of weather-resistant ornaments) not in the house, but out on the balcony. When I walked into the house last night after the hockey game, this is the view I had out onto the balcony.

It was just simply beautiful. For all the complaining I will do once March rolls around and I am sick of the cold and snow, I will need to remind myself about how wonderful it is to live in a place that enjoys four fully glorious seasons.

Yesterday, I went to Mass at a local parish. They have a wonderful liturgical environment for the Advent season. From the central dome hangs a large Advent wreath, with ribbons hanging, donning the space with the traditional colors of Advent. There are four very tall candle stands set up along the main aisle beneath the wreath. It is quite stunning. Only yesterday, the candles were not burning at all and no mention was made of the wreath whatsoever. Just seemed rather strange to me. Wondered if anyone else noticed.

Gearing up for one last trip of the year this week. I fly to southern California on Wednesday to speak at a company meeting on Thursday. Rather than spending all day Friday making my way back to Chicago, I will be spending the weekend in Indian Wells, California, in the desert. I have provided piano music for a Christmas party at a retired priest-friend's home there for several years and plan to do the same thing on Saturday night. Looking forward to a little bit of Advent in the desert!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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