On Sunday we celebrated Christ the King, which always falls on the final Sunday before Advent. When I turn to the readings in the Prayer Book these days, I am very near the back of the book as we've moved into the final "proper" before the readings beginning anew with Advent 1.
The older I get, the more I'm finding myself much more deeply attuned to the rhythms of the church year than to the actual calendar year. I'm realizing that it's this time of year when I'm getting truly excited about newness and fresh starts, much more than when we turn the calendar to January 1, although that's enjoyable too.
It's combination of things: the approach of Thanksgiving, a holiday near to my heart because it reminds me to be grateful and because it's the most time we get to spend with extended family each year, the approach of the prayerful, watchful season of Advent, which of course leads us to the dazzling light of Christmas. It's knowing that no matter how short and dark days seem right now, we're about to turn the corner and begin to bask in just a bit more light each day, a glorious reflection of the Light whose birth we're about to celebrate.
I love the month of October and have long called it my favorite. From a purely seasonal point of view, that's still true -- I love the bright blue days, the colored leaves, apples, pumpkin, corn, the still-longer amounts of daylight, the not-quite-so-cold as it's going to get. But from a heart perspective, I'm beginning to realize how much I love November. All Saints, Christ the King, Thanksgiving, the very tip of Advent.
And from a literary point of view (and those literary days are a deep part of my heart's journey) the November 22 Feast Day of C.S. "Jack" Lewis, and the commemoration of birthdays: Robert Louis Stevenson on November 13, Jack, Madeleine and Louisa (Lewis, L'Engle and Alcott) on November 29. And on the family calender, several extended family members' birthdays and also November 16, my late (paternal) grandparents' anniversary. 80 years since their wedding this year; I still keep a picture of their beautiful wedding day up on my bookshelf.
We're heading out for family visits soon, and I likely won't have much computer access for a few days. If you're reading this, know how many blessings I am wishing your way during this thanksgiving season, this beautiful November.