Posts Tagged With: washington national cathedral

love and light at the Cathedral

The day after Christmas we went downtown to the creche exhibit at the National Cathedral.
For the first time in many years, the sun was out on that cold, cold day. (sorta kinda)

We walked the long way around the Cathedral College on our way up the hill to the Cathedral.
Thing 2 especially loves this building, the tower with the ivy vines. I think it has something to do with her love of the Disney movie Tangled…though she might not agree. It was important to her to bring boyfriend J to this place.

I loved this glimpse of colored glass! It wasn’t until I viewed the window through my lens that I realized there was a pane missing.

The Cathedral is my absolute favorite building the the whole of DC. I mean to the point that I began to breathe differently when we drove up Wisconsin Ave and I could see it. The building is truly awe inspiring, but more than that, it’s just a lovely, peaceful place. God’s house for everyone.
I was pleased to see the Advent wreath in the Bethlehem Chapel!

Though they were beginning to look a little worse for wear, the Christmas trees were dressed with a garland of hydrangeas. A few jingle bells and, boom! You’ve got yourself a gorgeous tree.

The sun was shining brightly as we made our way through the chapel and the stained glass positively sparked!

The “Space Window”.
Inside that little white circle is a piece of moon rock given to the Cathedral in 1974.

This view stopped me in my tracks. I honestly cannot describe the beauty my eyes saw, and this photo is a sad representation.
But not so sad that I wasn’t asked by a local online culture and lifestyle magazine if they could feature it in a current coolest pics article.
Go me!

This little beauty was waiting in the observation tower.

Here’s a view of the Bishop’s Garden from the observation tower.

Down on the crypt level is the chapel of St Joseph of Arimathea. This is my absolute favorite space in the entire building. I always stop for a moment (or longer) in this chapel to talk with God.

The teeny chapel where we normally light our candles in prayer.

Much to our dismay this little chapel was otherwise occupied. Who dropped off an organ in there? It actually brought Thing 2 to tears.

So we went back up the the Bethlehem chapel to light a candle in prayer. I finished my conversation with God before Thing 2 finished hers and I shot this pic without her knowledge. Seeing her like this moved me so.

I saw many lovely nativities at the creche exhibit, including one from Norway in which both Mary and the baby had red hair! Like, what’s that!?!
But this one is my favorite from this year.
From the collection of Mr and Mrs Harold R Amos, Jr, painted on wood by Miami folk artist, Flor Larios.

We left our coats, hats, and gloves in the car to avoid having to carry them around the Cathedral. Not the smartest choice when we decided to visit the Bishop’s Garden. Though the beauty of the dappled sunlight nearly made the freezing air bearable.

My Cathedral experience (as always) ended with the Cathedral Library.

I love this building. I long to get in there and oodgey-goodgey, only it’s never open when I’m there.

This Christmas is over and I find myself feeling that natural sadness. But in a positive ‘comfort and joy’ way. That beautiful sense of anticipation during Advent and the childlike joy of Christmas morning has moved through me and now I find myself ready to say a hearty “Bye Felica” to 2017 and see what kind of shenanigans 2018 will bring.
YBW and I are already talking about going on a mini-break for Christmas next year. Neither of us are sure how we feel about that…leaving home for Christmas, but we’re considering the idea, and it feels kind of fun.
I think I’m in a place within myself, he’s in a place in him, and we’re in a place together that we’re ready to make some changes to better suit the ideas we have for each other as we move through our life. And that’s very exciting! Perhaps ‘just we two’ will be even more fun that we can imagine!
Blessings of love and light continue to wash over me.

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Categories: me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

sometimes you have to make your own light

Christmas Eve at the Cathedral was magical!
We made a quick stop at the space window before going downstairs to see the nativities.
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Once downstairs, we kind of went out separate ways.
I spent a moment of prayer in St Joseph’s Chapel (My favorite space in the entire building.) before moving along to the creche exhibit.
YBW said he felt a bit jaded, that because we go each season, he feels as though he’s seen them all. I don’t feel jaded in the least. Though I do feel like these nativities were not as lovely as some we’ve seen in the past. Precious few moved me enough to photograph them.
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I especially liked this one from South Africa made of fabric and glass beads. No donkey and camel in this nativity, but the lion and zebra sure came to celebrate baby Jesus!

Thing 2 came to find me and asked if I’d lit my prayer candle yet. I hadn’t, so she took my hand an led me through the gorgeously colorful mosaics of the Resurrection Chapel to the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage. This is the teeniest little room with a spiral stone staircase, a few wooden chairs along the wall behind a small kneeling alter in front of the candle table.
I hugged her tightly and told her this was where I always lit my prayer candles. She nodded and whispered that she just knew it.
She had been there before she found me, I could see the freshly lit candle and sense her presence. She sat in the corner behind me and I kneeled for a moment before using her candle to light mine.
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God is in us. Always. There is no need to be in a house of worship to feel that connection. But in that moment in that tiny dark room I felt it more keenly than the way I carry God with me every day.
Perhaps it was being there with my baby. The one I always pray for in that particular room?

We left the Cathedral for the ellipse where the National Christmas tree was waiting for us.
Thing 2 and I drove past on our way home from the Nutcracker earlier that week. Honestly this tree has the prettiest lights I think I’ve seen in my entire life. But none of the trees were lighted this Christmas Eve afternoon. (Pourquoi pas?)
Thing 2, of course, was all about the trains. Thing 1 and I dug around for pennies and we took turns tossing them into baskets on the trains as they passed by. (We made more than we missed, go us!) Thing 2 mused what the change was used for. I teased that it was to pay the electric bill so the trees could be lit. Then she decided she would want to be one of the people who worked there with the trains. She could keep them running smoothly and gather up the change on the grass and hand it to all the small children standing along the fence so they could try their luck as the train cars went by. Thing 1 and I agreed that it would a great job for her.

Finally, we were tired and ready to head home. YBW got this shot of us walking together.
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(I’m on the left, Thing 1 in the middle, and Thing 2 on the right.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

and there was much rejoicing…yaaaaaaaaay

All the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small, are really irritated the rain falling from the sky isn’t snow!

The forecast for Washington DC today: 72° with scattered showers and thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. Winds SW 10 to 20 MPH. (Thanks, weather.com,  for your bleak Christmas Eve forecast.)
The rain has plagued us for days on end and will continue straight on through the weekend. Damn this warm weather! If it was cold outside, we could have a white Christmas!

I’ve already checked my camera battery (new SD card fully functioning) and will head out in a couple of hours to Cathedral Crèche Exhibition!
It’ll be a lovely day to be inside the Cathedral to see all the baby Jesuses! It’ll be a shit day to drive around the Metro area.

Thing 1 and fiance N arrived safe and sound yesterday evening! YBW picked them up at the airport on his way home from work.
Thing 2 and I danced around the kitchen to the Nutcracker while we waited for them to get home.
Finally they got here!
and there was much rejoicing

Boyfriend D was scheduled to get on the train at 4:00 this morning, only the train is running five hours behind and is stuck in Savannah. Thing 2 wonders if he’ll get here by Christmas. I’m with her, but I worry about the poor sod who has to go get him as the train arrival time pushes back later and later.
Our plan was to grab him from the King Street train station at his 2:00 pm arrival time on our way out of DC. New plans are in the works.

Thing C and Thing G come home from their mom’s this evening!
Our own Whos, the tall and the small, will be under one roof tonight snuggled in their beds with dreams of sugar plums and Santa in their heads!

My beloved sister-in-law celebrates her birthday today! In the old days when we lived near each other, the anniversary of her birth would be celebrated with a delicious white cake with white icing and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Now that we live far apart, I post on fb, I text and call. We say: I lovey you! and promise to see each other soon. I miss her so. I long to wrap my arms around her, especially today, on her birthday.

My heart grew three sizes writing this post! I am filled to overflowing with love!
I wish you all the happiest Christmas!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

making a list and checking it twice

I’ve been so busy making lists and checking them twice, I just realized I haven’t started a countdown to everything I’m excited about in the next two weeks!
Thing 2 will be here in four days! We’ll be at the ballet in six. Thing 1 and fiance N will be here the very next day.
Okey doke, countdown checked off my list.

I talked with Thing 2 today and we’re all about getting dressed up all fancy to go to the ballet. Even though we’ve seen the Nutcracker several times, we’re both positively giddy! There will be so much squealing and clapping. We’re just little girls at heart.

YBW had the idea that we should do our annual trip to see the nativities at the Cathedral on Christmas Eve. I can hardly wait to see all the baby Jesuses!
Both the girls are excited to go and you know I’m thrilled! It’s my favorite Christmas outing and this year, my camera’s stupid SD card won’t be wonky so I won’t lose all my photos!

The boys come home from their mom’s after church Christmas Eve, then we’ll do Christmas Eve pressies. They know they’ll find jammies and a book under the tree, but love the tradition. I’m so pleased I’ve been able to introduce this special tradition to YBW and the boys. Thing G absolutely adores his jammies.

All the gift shopping is finished. I’ve wrapped everything and sorted out all the stocking “stuffers” into individual bags for ease of filling on Christmas Eve.
The majority of Christmas dinner has been ordered from Wegmans with a few special dishes to be made here at home. Thing 1 loves to cook, so I’m counting on her to be my sous chef. Actually, I’d rather be her sous chef…but we’ll see how it goes. Thing 2 is developing her cooking skills so we’ll call her to action too. Thing C is great at getting everything set up, so I’ll be relying on him for that.
With YBW’s mom, and brother and his family, we’ll be eleven for Christmas dinner. There’s a part of me that balks at the concept, but what the hell? The more the merrier!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
My joy is simply unquantifiable!

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at the Cathedral

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This is the only photo from the Cathedral. It was taken with my phone as we arrived. I liked the light and stopped to capture it. My camera’s SD card went wonky and every single photo I took is lost, mushed up in one big half gig file. A recovery effort is in progress…but I’m not sure it’ll produce anything.
YBW says I should reformat the SD card…I’m leaning towards chucking it and getting a new one…we’ll see how it goes.

Though I’m sad there are no pics it didn’t make the trip any less wonderful. I saw nativities made of every imaginable medium and from all around the world. My favorite this year was made of terracotta from Argentina, it had the most adorable angels!

Apparently YBW fell down circular steps made of stone, but I missed it because I was in St Joseph’s Chapel taking pictures and communing. He told me the story when he caught me coming down the very same steps. (I didn’t fall.)
I stopped to light a candle and say a prayer in this teeny chapel where the stairs came down before moving upstairs to the Bethlehem Chapel.

I took so many photos, It breaks my heart not to be able to see any of them. But I felt peaceful and full of love after spending this beautiful day with YBW and the baby Jesus.

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all the baby Jesuses

YBW took me to the annual crèche exhibit at Washington National Cathedral. Why you ask? Well I have a special love for nativities and a woman who works with him is also a docent at the Cathedral. She mentioned this one day and he came home asking if I wanted to go. (Did I?)
My love for this house of worship is as enormous as the building itself so any excuse to spend time there is one I’ll happily take! But to visit the Cathedral to see the crèche exhibit, well that was just like Christmas! (Pun intended, I adore Christmastime.)

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We wandered briefly through the nave before going downstairs to the crypt level to see the nativities. That many teeny baby Jesuses all in one place created an unparalleled level of joy within me…interestingly enough, it created an unparalleled level of peace within me too. Even though I was there with my sweetheart, it was an intimate and personal experience for me. I was moved by all the representations of the baby’s birth from all over the world and in all the different media, from wood and resin to coffee root and newspaper.

A few miniatures made specifically for doll houses gave the little girl in me a great big bucktooth grin. My favorite was from Ireland perhaps it somehow tapped into my genetic code, because it certainly wasn’t the most beautiful one.

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YBW’s favorite was this elaborate cityscape made in France.
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After we looked at and revisited each and every one, we moved on from the nativities to the smaller chapels.  In the Bethlehem Chapel, I lit a candle praying for peace to find my precious Thing 2 and in the Chapel of Joseph of Arimathea for a selfish moment I kneeled in prayer for myself, something I haven’t done in longer than I can even remember…but it felt…right, my spirit was moved and I experienced peace.

It’s been said that the baby Jesus is the light of the world…my world was surely lighted that day.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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