Sirius Black, the Advent Dog

  • Posted on Dec 3, 2012

For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.  Be alert at all times.  Luke 21:35-36

My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit.

The teacher is near.

Wake up, Wake up!

Run to his feet–

He is standing close to your hear right now.

You have slept for millions and millions of years.

Why not wake up this morning?    —Kabir (trans. Robert Bly)


Why NOT wake up this morning?  Some of us love the morning.  The first hint of light in the east.  The chirping of the morning birds and the bustle of squirrels in the trees as daylight begins to pierce the dark night.  The quiet space of early morning.  That quiet space when the day is silent and new.  That time of day that is a preparation for the bustle and business to come.  Early morning is Advent time.

Most of our mornings start with a routine.  Mine starts with my dog Sirius Black.  Early in the morning Sirius bounds unto my bed and all 80 lbs of him snuggles up to my side.  He is letting me know that it is time to go out, time to eat breakfast and time to go for his morning walk.

And no matter what else I have going that day, that morning walk with Sirius is a piece of Advent every day of the year.  When we go on our early morning walk, I have a sense of the weather for the coming day.  I have time to drink in the trees, the sky, to hear the sounds of the boys playing on the fields before school.  I see the older boys shuffling to class from the parking lot—heavy backpacks slung over their shoulders.  Everyone is preparing for the day to come.

After our walk together, there is my breakfast, the newspaper and my prayers.  Then I am ready to face the day and Sirius is ready for his morning nap.

But on days that I don’t get my morning routine, my Advent moment–I am always just a little off.  As the day moves onward, I have the strange sensation that I’ve forgotten something.  There is just the smallest lingering tinge of anxiety.  Like the sun, the moon and the stars are not quite aligned.  

I also am a little less present as I move through the day.  A little less alert.  It’s like I haven’t fully woken up.  All because there was no space to greet the day.

This Advent, can you find the time to wake up?  To greet the day that is to come or give thanks at day’s end for the blessing of another day?  When we create this Advent kind of space on a regular basis, we often find a corresponding spaciousness in the whole day.  A spaciousness that can take in all that is–the challenging, the heartbreaking, the joyful and the sense of accomplishment.  

For more Advent spaces, check out the Memorial Episcopal Church website.  Take an hour to enjoy the Advent Lessons and Carols at 7:30 this Friday Dec 7 or a Pancake Breakfast with neighbors and friends on Saturday from 9-12.  Serve lunch to the Memorial Apartments residents on Sunday.  Or on Saturday morning, come sit a spell with Stephanie and Martha in the church.  Or find a happy dog who longs for a walk….and take it!

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