Wednesday, 16 November 2011
The C Word
(This is actually the reflection of the sun in a puddle in case you're wondering and has absolutely nothing to do with this post.)
The other night I was wide awake (sleep is somewhat disrupted at present) thinking about the C word. Christmas. I’ve never been a great fan, to be honest – I’m not religious, I hate all the commercialisation and overindulgence associated with it, and not having children or grandchildren makes a mockery of much of the festive season.
As Pip died on Boxing Day last year, I am looking forward to Christmas less than usual this year, as you can imagine. But what to do?
Well, much though I love them, I feel very strongly that I don’t want to be with my family. They will be far too aware of This Time Last Year and I am aware that they could be treading on eggshells. I don’t want to be treated like porcelain. I want to be able to howl if I want, have a cuddle then go for a long walk and have a few drinks without worrying about anyone else.
There are a few people I would very much like to be with but most of them are taken up visiting their families. I’ve been invited by several other friends, so have a few possibilities and was reasonably happy with that until I met a close friend the other night for a drink. When I told her what I had vaguely planned she frowned.
“This Christmas I think you should get right away,” she said. “Do something completely different.” And as soon as she said it, I knew she was right.
The trouble is a) where to go, b) with whom (I don’t want to be on my own but I know instinctively who would be right and who wouldn’t, and c) there’s Molls to take into account. She either has to come with me or I need to find someone who can take her over Christmas.
This afternoon I was out walking Molls by the side of a field full of cauliflowers. I looked out over the grey winter landscape, at the blokes with battered coats picking muddy cauli after cauli. Rooks swooped in the distance over Rowland Hilder trees and I thought, “really, it’s only a few days. I‘ll get through it.” And I will get through it. But now that seed has been planted in my mind, I want to do more than just get through it. I’d like, if possible, to enjoy some of it.
What I need is a magic wand and a magic carpet. Failing that – any ideas?
Lastly – and this is connected, I’m not rambling - I’m reading Daphne du Maurier’s The King’s General. The plot is basically that some things in life have to be fought for – happiness, love and ambition in this instance, which reminded me that we all need to believe in what we are doing, and fight our corner, however hard this may seem.
And then I read this Cornish quote, as said to D du M, which I find very soothing: The sea is itself a symbol of the uncertainties of fate. “You will embark on a fair sea, and at times there will be fair weather and foul. Never lose courage. Safe harbour awaits you in the end.”
So regardless of what happens over Christmas – if I end up in far flung snowy wastelands, overheated houses or wave tossed beaches in Cornwall, I will think of the safe harbour awaiting me and those that I love.