advent

"It is Advent: the time just before the adventure begins, when everybody is leaning forward to hear what will happen even though they already know what will happen and what will not happen, when they listen hard for meaning, their meaning, and begin to hear, only faintly at first, the beating of unseen wings... "Because when angels draw near, as they do, the earth begins to shake beneath our feet as it began to shake beneath Mary's feet, which was why she was greatly troubled.  Instead of everything standing still and sure, suddenly nothing is standing still, and everything is unsure.  Something new and shattering is breaking through into something old.  Something is trying to be born.  And if the new thing is going to be born, then the old thing is going to have to give way, and there is agony in the process as well as joy, just as there is agony in the womb as it labors and contracts to bring forth the new life...

"What is trying to happen?  Something is trying to happen, we can be sure of that, and the earth is shaking beneath our feet at its approach."

- Frederich Buechner, "The Annunciation" -- The Magnificent Defeat