Thursday, 25 December 2014


It's amazing to me that this, of all days, is the day when I find it so difficult to write. That perhaps springs both from my reasons for writing and the writing process itself. I write to share my life. Today my life is full of sharing, crowded with people who know my story, who are walking this walk with me. There is no need to write when it is all here.

Then there is the process of writing. I need a quiet space to contemplate, in most cases, that which eventually rolls out of my fingertips. So many times I start with one thought, then moving to another. With so many people around, there is no quiet contemplation. There are interruptions, shouts, noises, and needs all around me. To focus here nears impossibility. Yet here I am, writing.

Christmas morning was as Christmas morning should be. There were stockings to unstuff, presents to unwrap, predictable meltdowns by both adults and children, food to prepare, and endless tidying to do. Toys are spread from wall to wall in my living room. Bags stuffed with gifts line the hallway, spreading from the living room, delta like, onward to line the walls of the foyer. Boxes and bags are everywhere, some full, some empty, some awaiting a load, others ready for transport. The smell of chocolate is everywhere, as is the smell of turkey roasting in the oven.

We are a family; great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and children. There are four generations of us here, something I will not see again, something that will not happen for me. I am grateful for the generations I have; I will not miss that which I will never see. I can regret that I will not see it, but I cannot miss it.

One of the great things of this day, of this kind of day, is that we can see beyond the walls of our own years, out to those who go before and those who will come after. We can see the rewards of our work as parents, enjoy the benefits of being grandparent. I am enjoying those benefits today, my grandchildren excitedly showing me their gifts, laughing as they play, exploring my home. I am enjoying the benefits of my own children as they help me with the food preparation, sharing in the ongoing effort of tidying and clearing away.

Dinner will happen soon. Once again there will be massive amounts of food on my table. Once again my family will share a meal, that ritual that binds in almost all cultures. Christmas, beyond its religious meaning, has become a secular holiday of sharing and family. Today, I am enjoying that. I am grateful.

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