Second Sunday of Advent Musings

Advent Blessings 1 ©FrogDiva Photography

Every day is Christmas
When you have the kind of mind,
That stores up all the goodness
And the sweetness it can find.
When you don’t need an occasion,
To spread a bit of cheer,
But just keep on a-giving,
Of yourself throughout the year.

Every day is Christmas,
With a gaily wrapped surprise,
When you’ve learned
To see the friendship,
In someone else’s eyes.
When you try a little harder,
And complain a little less,
Holding fast to all the fervor
Of the faith that you possess.

Every day is Christmas,
When you’ve found that you can be
More concerned with words like “you”
And less with “I” and “me”.
When it’s fun to do a favor,
And to lend a helping a hand,
When being understood means less,
Than when you understand.

Every day is Christmas,
With a beauty deeply cast,
When you find it doesn’t matter,
If you’re first or if you’re last.
When you can face your conscience,
And be glad of what you are,
Then every day is Christmas,
With a stable and a star.

– author unknown

Advent Blessings 2 ©FrogDiva Photography
Advent Blessings 3 ©FrogDiva Photography

Every day is Christmas,
With a gaily wrapped surprise,
When you’ve learned
To see the friendship,
In someone else’s eyes.
When you try a little harder,
And complain a little less,
Holding fast to all the fervor
Of the faith that you possess.

There is a freshly baked loaf of bread in the oven a cheese omelette on the stove, and two hungry cats prowling around me demanding a second serving of their chicken pate. The second candle of Advent is lit, jazz is playing in the background from my absolutely favourite Radio Swiss Jazz station currently playing I Cried For You by PJ Perry. Life is serene, and I feel incredibly grateful.

The photographs in this entry are from Friday morning, taken along my usual path through the fields to the bus stop. I was blessed with this gorgeous sky for a few minutes and knew I had to capture the moment. True enough, two hours later it was raining, windy, and absolutely miserable over Berlin.

Seize the moment and be grateful for those in my life, and declaring “Here I am, Lord” – the theme for this second week of Advent. A call to mission, service, and introspection. The challenge for the week ahead is to seek the face of God in others, in word and deed, and believe in the inherent goodness of the inner child.

I have to remember a dear old friend from Delhi who has since passed away. The entire Filipino community called her Tita Dolly, and she had a wonderful life story, finding the love of her life in India back in the early 1960s. Dolly was a Filipino chanteuse at The Imperial Hotel and and one night a budding young lawyer came in with his colleagues after a gruelling day at court. They just wanted to unwind before heading home, but the moment Jimmy heard and saw Dolly, he came to the pub every evening. She was in town with her band, having just finished a gig in Vietnam, and escaping an abusive relationship, finding herself suddenly out in the cold with a young child. Single mothers in the early 60s were a huge taboo in Asia, but this did not deter Jimmy, nor did the differences in religious background. Long story short, they had a wonderful love story, always taking care to give back to the community in whichever way possible. Every winter Dolly made sure her car was loaded with woollen blankets, and whenever beggars knocked on her car window she handed them a blanket instead of money. If she forgot the blankets or ran out of them, she always had fruit with her.

There is a wonderful ongoing campaign here in Berlin for the homeless people called Kältehilfe run by the Berliner Stadtmission. Basically it translates into Help in the Cold, and the aim is to collect as many sleeping bag donations as possible to distribute them among the homeless around Berlin. There are numerous soup kitchen around as well, but at the end of the day the homeless will seek out a spot under the bridge, a covered bus stop, or a quiet alley. The motto is Spenden Sie Wärme (Donate Warmth) and in addition to sleeping bags, bandages and yoga mats are also welcome. This reminds me of Tita Dolly every year and seeing the campaign posters all over the city always makes me smile.

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