Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dakness Always Gives Birth to the Light

It was a rough summer. Lots of weird emotional stuff that I didn't have a clue how to properly handle. All Souls Night came and went with not even a jackolantern getting carved. I was numb and a little paralyzed. This frightened me. Then I got a little angry, you know, the positive kind that moves you out of your state of paralyses and into one where you ask yourself: what is to be done to make things better? So we painted the whole interior of the house Celtic Blue, all the wood furniture and doors went white, the furniture got slip-covered white, the bookshelves went white too, and I put a purple rug in the office and a lime green rug in the foyer, I began decorating the house at the beginning of November, beginning with the tree, all gold and silver with enormous chartreuse paper butterflies, then lots of green garland everywhere, another tabletop tree surrounded by my little Santa collection, the wirework angels, the papier mache stars everywhere, and we even managed to light a couple of the Victoria Palms outside the window,little Pyper was delighted, even my jaded sixteen year old son was impressed. They look beautiful in the window framing the tree inside. This is the first time ever in my lifetime for lighted trees in the Crab Grass Garden at Christmastime. It is a little thing that means the world to me. My children will remember the lights, and remember us and that we loved them, just as I remember my mother fondly at Christmas for the beautiful winter villages she created with miniature houses, cotton for snow, elves made of little pine cones, those little bottle brush trees, all very magical and beautiful in my five and six year old eyes, those happy young Christmases when the tree was real and strung with those enormous, multi-colour lights, gigantic red and purple balls and silver tinsel hung one strand at a time, when the house smelled like Granny's Date Loaf, and my mildly intoxicated father at 11.30 put on his one blue suit, got out his old, sweet-smelling hymn books and went off to midnight mass at St Anne's... I've got a handful of treasured memories that come to me every Christmas, usually when I am missing the ones who are gone, little things that meant so much, and still do now. So I've tried hard this year to do the same. For several years we've gone to friends' houses for Christmas dinner, but this year I had to do it myself, in our beautiful home. So I did. With lots of help from the housekeeper who chopped seven or eight bags of vegetables, and Dad too, who peeled potatoes, lifted pans in and out of the oven, and a thousand other things to help. I set the table on the patio, lit some candles, and the four of us actually sat down to Christmas dinner together. You have to understand. I don't think we've ever done this before. Pyper kept saying, Mama, you turned our house into a restaurant. A simple meal together, a couple of strands of lights in the trees, one happy childhood Christmas memory done. And so much inside of me that was wounded was healed on Christmas night. It wasn't perfect, the plates were ugly, but the stuffing was good, and there was peace and love in the air. Later I told everyone at our friend Sandra's house, We cooked dinner together! Really, I think it saved my life, and uplifted my family in a profound way. On Solstice night I lit the house with a thousand candles, turned up the Celtic music and shed a few ritual tears for all the people who've passed over, and for others who were lost to me for other reasons, and for good friends who are not lost but live far away in other countries. On Christmas night I celebrated with the ones I love who are with me now. And on Boxing Day we went to dear old friends Linda and Rick for boil fish, something I missed in recent years but was so glad to return to this year. There is something medicinal and even intoxicating about a good boil fish, isn't there, especially when good old friends make it for you. Now I've got my fiftieth birthday on the thirtieth, my present is four days in a beach apartment with family and friends, another miracle, another chance for big little memories to be made. I'm hopeful, I think it could really happen. I love Solstice and Christmas, I love my family, I love how darkness always gives birth to the light. And I love that I'm inspired to return to this blog with such a personal post. I have my friend the writer Nicolette Bethel to thank for some of that inspiration, I read her simple and honest expressions about the new kind of Christmas she experienced this year in her blog this morning and found the courage to write my own. Many thanks to her and bright and happy holiday blessings to you all, thanks for reading, thanks for being in my life this Christmas. Blessed Be.


Katie Postlethwaite said...

Well said:) I enjoyed this post. It gave me a bit of deja vu since I have had those kinds of seasons myself. I love how you tackled dinner and "turned the house into a restaurant" haha

Lynn Sweeting said...

thanks so much katie, happy someone can relate, grateful for your response.

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