There are a few things I dwell upon as we begin the Season of Advent. Much is still coming into focus, but on the trip back home this evening from visiting my family, I could sense the twilight of the past and the promise of future to come. It has made me very expectant for this December, and the reminders of the past—long trips to Texas to visit my extended family—a great joy from childhood. It was all triggered, oddly enough, from a faint familiar smell of driving through the Texas countryside... it was almost an earthy smell that within the instant connected me back to those childhood trips in the dead of night, traveling the way "home"... and family is always "home."
I have felt as though the explanation and the gift of remaining in Texas has come into distinct focus. There can be a false sense of nostalgia, distinct as one ages, but this shouldn't be confused with the cherishing of the past. No, the recollection of the past is for the benefit of the future, and even if everything cannot be recalled—nor should it in serious cases—the joy of the present is a future infused in the past, in tradition, and above all in a living with the past for the benefit of the future generations, such that, come what may, we may be able to pass on the joy of the Faith, of the truth, and ultimately the joy of life, replete with the everyday blessings we receive when traveling along the road of life with a song in our heart on our way to the town of Bethlehem and the infant child that awaits us.