A sure sign that Advent is beginning!
One of my assignments here as a volunteer at the monastic community in Switzerland is to gather pretty leaves, seed pods, flowers, etc. and to arrange them in little vases for the guest rooms.
When I went down to the cave (French for "cellar") to look for secateurs yesterday, I got a sneak preview of the red and green centerpieces that the real flower-sister had created for the refectory (dining room) tables.
And so last night Advent was indeed ushered in.
For my Christian friends, it is a beautiful and important time of active waiting for Christmas.