Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Monday, December 01, 2003

He will come. He will come.

Being a lapsed catholic, I've never really had the chance to see the Liberal Wing of the Church of England at work. So although the journey sucked and I spent part of the evening in a very weird dream sequence, it was nice to experience that. Because although I can't stand to experience catholic ritual, I need liturgies and rituals I can relate to, in order to make some sense of my life.

Amongst the darkness we've finally lit the first candle of advent. Whether we fear getting behind with our christmas shopping, family arguments or just disappointment, Christmas will come. If I've learnt anything from going through this same personal ritual every year, the next four weeks will fly past. And if four weeks can fly past once, before I know it I'll be travelling home in daylight again.

My defining moment of this year was walking to work in February, and being so thrilled at the first daffodils and that official confirmation that I had got through another winter that I was grinning like an idiot for days. Soon, that will happen again. And then it will be August, and I'll be nostalgically thinking of when I fell in that snowdrift in February, just 2 weeks before I saw my first daffodil.

Of course, Summer was a big disappointment. I wasn't just looking forward to it being summer, I'd attached all these other hopes to it, and when despite the heat I still got to spend an hour a day out in Borehamwood High Street (instead of maybe making out with lots of indie chicks in a field in Hampshire), I was disappointed. Ditto Christmas Day never looks anything like a Christmas card. But in both cases I really looked forward to these.

There's two ways that I can stop spending the rest of my like wishing the year away. I can stop attaching unrealistic hopes to days and seasons, and learn to appreciate them for what they are, nothing more and nothing less. Or I come to realise that it's anticipation I enjoy, so why not just let myself enjoy it for a change?

Or I can do both. Either way, whether I sort this out in my head or not, Christmas will come. And then it will go.



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