Today is the first Sunday in Advent, and therefore the beginning of the Church Year.
How often have I wanted to just start again? The children that I teach are always asking "can I start again" when they make a mistake in their pieces. Sometimes I let them, other times it is important for them to learn to carry on from where they made the mistake.
I'm lucky: I get three chances to start again.
January the 1st is the obvious one.
"This year I am going to...." yeah, yeah, yeah.
The start of term in September is an opportunity for me to begin again, as a teacher.
"This year I am going to..." yeah, yeah, yeah.
Today, the beginning of the "real" run-up to Christmas, I get another opportunity. This time it is a bit different. Advent is not about Making a New Start. It is about preparation, listening, waiting, bringing yourself to a state of readiness, for the New Start.
Today I have reached the totally zonked stage of tiredness - the past week has been very demanding for all sorts of reasons, mostly good reasons, but that doesn't stop it being a series of hard-pressed days.
The weekend has been "full-on" as well - I was teaching a music workshop for most of Saturday, and then "working" for both church services this morning - playing the organ, and then taking one of the children's groups. It's just how things tend to happen - like buses - all at once.
Now, it is half past three. (That's started an "ear-worm" - one of the djembe rhythms I teach goes "half past THREE! have-a-cup-of TEA!). We're having coffee, and I have lit the Advent Candle, and we shall have PEACE until it has burned as far as the ONE.
This could be something new; the ritual lighting of the candle being a signal to pause and just breathe for an inch of time.