So there has been a development: though sadly, not of the life-changing kind. That would be radical and masculine; brutal and sharp-edged: involving movement and action, loss; the vacation of a space, familiar, for another – dark and unknown. There would be terms, conditions, requirements attached, and something cherished, left.
This is more subtle: a gentle shift; emotional perspective slanting, slipping, sliding right; sidestepping slightly to make way for something nice. And even though expected, suggested, guided and deserved: it touched me, deeply, in my heart.
The unexpected is rare and I like random romantic acts. And thoughtful presents (my favourite: homemade) are enchanted, coated with things like sugar, icing and sprinkles of winged-creature dust.
Arriving home last night – late, after Christmas shopping recovery drinks; restored and rejuvenated, energised: I discovered a grotto had come to visit my house, transforming a space which was empty and hollow into one that was full and whole. Spinning, turning, casting my eyes around: I took in a tiny tree encircled with lights, a collection of painted baubles, a red plant, crackers and strings of bulbs sitting snug upon formerly naked ledges. And while by no means perfect; less advanced than former years where the effort was magnanimous and the output large, where cookies were baked and pom-poms made, decorations knitted: it was enough to quiet the voice that resides inside and the child (me, younger) who was yearning for the usual trappings that would normally accompany such an affair. I slept like a baby, my dreams uninterrupted, free from the usual emotional collection of agitation, dismay and fear.
This morning, I still feel strong; for even though circumstances have been difficult: the move postponed, plans shelved, dreams derailed – there is reason to celebrate. We have each other. We have our health. A cold that won’t go away and an ache in my bones, a body that is exhausted and a mind that is dismayed: small things compared to the ones that others are experiencing all over the world.
Motivated, inspired, I have looked into volunteering, applying to help the homeless in my local area. Although by no means the same, I feel that events have given me a window that could, perhaps, be valuable. I can relate and empathise. And even if all I can do is listen without myself stepping in, or help to make tea and dish or clear up a meal, it’s something that wasn’t previously present, a person who stopped and saw when to the rest of the world they were invisible.
by Rebecca L. Atherton
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