I can’t believe today is Lucia. First off, that means we’ve been back in the States for over 7 months now. It feels like a week and a year at the same time, however that is possible. Secondly: it was almost 60 degrees F today. And yesterday, closer to 70! This afternoon, we nestled around a fire on the terrace of a pool at the beautiful home of some wonderful new Swedish friends here in Austin, half pretending it was cold enough to need a fire, half revelling in the act of sitting outside while eating Christmas food.
But for Lucia, we sang. We actually sang last Sunday, at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in north Austin, the culmination of a Swedish Christmas celebration we organized. There was a market with Swedish buns for sale and a Santa and some dancing around a Christmas tree. And when it finally got dark outside, the guests were ushered into the church while those of us in the choir changed into our white gowns with red sashes tied around our waists and put glittering crowns on our heads and lit our candles and practiced our last lines before filing into the church to the tune of Sankta Lucia.
Hearing that first Lucia song of the season is always a special moment, and is even more so being the one singing it. Not to say I’m much of a singer; in fact, I would consider myself a pretty bad singer – but I love it. And singing in a choir – well… I figured my voice would be drowned out anyway. In reality, I’m not sure it was, but I think that was okay. I sang all the Swedish songs I’d practiced for so many weeks on my commute to and from work every day, and enjoyed it, too.
For those of you in Austin, we’re doing it again next weekend – at a Swedish-themed Scottish Christmas festival – although only 2 of the songs. With fewer of us singing then, I’m not sure how the whole drowning-out-my-voice thing will go, but hopefully the audience won’t mind too much.