I love Latin. It's been the one language I longed to read and speak since I was in middle school. I wasn't in an area that exactly appreciated Latin. I remember a poignant conversation with Mr. Barfield my Social Studies teacher at Jinks Middle School. (At least I think it was social studies. Some sort of Cultural something or other.)
Mr. B. - Learning a foreign language is a good thing to do. You should do that.
Me - I know. That's why I want to study Latin.
Mr. B. - Latin? That's a dead language. No one uses it anymore. Why would you want to study Latin?
Me - So I can read Dante's Inferno in it's original language.
Mr. B. - Insert speechless stare here.
Nevermind that the original language of Dante was Italian. My heart was in the right place. Or my mind. Or something. I still find Latin magnitizing in ways that makes no logical sense. I have a little phrase book of Latin that calms me. I've been called a geek for this. I should find a Latin mp3 to fall asleep to. Might lull me right out.
Which finally brings me around to the fact that -
The term Advent came from the Latin word “adventus” which means coming. Which didn't originate with Christmas but was associated with new Christians being baptized. I understand that. Baptism is a beautiful way to not only celebrate the blessing of a new life but to renew and revive an old one. The stepping from behind the old curtain onto a new stage. One washed whiter than snow.
Most of us who have lived life longer than 3rd grade need a chance for a fresh start. Or we get one without having planned to go in that direction. A refuge in a new country. A life that begins after a fire sweeps everything from the past away. A new city. A new job. A new hope.
Some of those new beginnings are beautifully orchestrated. Preparing the nursery during the Advent of a child's birth. Preparing for life beyond college after years of focusing on a degree. Preparing for the wedding after a long engagement. New changes.
But advent is not about the new birth - it's the attitude we bring with us.
And that can get complicated.
I offer you one 24 discovered words for travel from Geckos Tales that so beautifully explain just how traveling the Advent season can be so emotionally tricky. Which word best describes your mood this Advent Season?
I pray that as you continue to step deeper into the Advent Season you connect with the still, small voice that will always lead a traveler home.