July. Or maybe October. But not Christmas. Not even close to Christmas, what with the 72 degree days we're having. I'm still running my car air conditioner. Once ten or eleven o'clock comes, I can safely open the windows and walk around the house in shorts and a t-shirt. We took the comforter off the bed. And the sweaters I so look forward to wearing are still packed up in their rubbermaid boxes.
I guess I should be thankful, but instead I feel grouchy. The weather is beautiful, but it's wrong. As my dad says happily, "It feels like Christmas in Florida! This is what it felt like when we were growing up." I'm happy for dad, but this weather in no way makes me think of Christmas.
My snow-flocked garlands and my silvery white and snow flake decked dining room feel ridiculous. I'm kind of hating the idea of going Christmas caroling. I don't even check the weather anymore (which considering how much I love weather, is a pretty big statement.) And I can't bear (really-- it kind of makes my stomach turn this year) to hear "Baby, It's Cold Outside" or "Frosty the Snowman" or any of the other billion and a half Christmas songs that reference cold weather.
Maybe it's ridiculous to post on something inane as the weather. Maybe it's silly to base Christmas feelings on something so unrelated. Maybe it's sinful to send up prayers for a change in the weather when I should be praying for world peace or something. But this wrong weather is bringing out grinch like grouchiness on my part.
"I need a little Christmas" is what the song says. Christmas will come, of that I'm not worried. What I need is a change in weather, and that is nowhere on the horizon.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.