Suddenly, it’s that time of the year again. I spotted the first tree in mid-October when I was still enjoying autumn, and the council hung the lights already a month ago, but somehow Christmas spirit has evaded me so far. Last year I spent a lot of time with my crocheting decorations for a charity project; this year I have been too busy to take part and actually miss it. I made one snowflake just be part in spirit.
IMG_6244IMG_6263Saturday morning almost-breakfast-in-bed, listening to Sofia Karlsson.IMG_6270IMG_6269IMG_6272Christmas party of sorts with some old – and new – friends.
IMG_6277Home.IMG_6283IMG_6287IMG_6311Driving through five counties to Salisbury Cathedral for the first Advent Sunday carol service. I had never been to Salisbury before, and the cathedral was like a miracle – we could see the spire of the tower miles away, and standing beneath it, it really seemed to reach to the heavens. I wonder how people felt about it 700 years ago; how did the first generation who had not witnessed its construction feel about it, when even us modern people can barely imagine how it was built? Christmas has always been more than anything a religious event for me – my father was a music director in church, and I remember Christmas morning Mass, and carol services and going to the local cathedral to sing Christmas songs – and the Christmas spirit is never truer for me than in a candlelit chapel listening to the choir singing. In Salisbury the service begins in complete darkness, which has a wonderful, meditative quality to it – as my eyes adapted, I could make out the arches of the ceiling and the nightblue sky behind the windows, the silence perfect as the congregation waited for the bell to strike the hour and the first candle to be lit. The choir moved around the cathedral, from transept to another, and to hear them we all held our breaths, entirely focused on listening.

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