The sweetness of 2020

I don’t want to pretend for a second that it was great. It was full of rawness and grief and lament and pain. Sometimes unendingly. But I also want to say that there was great sweetness.

I was put in mind of this last night as I looked back on it all with friends – in the new church of Zoom (where else?). We sucked on slices of lemon – to remind ourselves of the bitterness we had experienced. And then on something sweet (chopped up Curly Wurly, yum) – so that we could recall that which had been sweet.

We finished by looking forward, with hope. Everyone got a go, and because it was Zoom, we all had to mute ourselves and listen.

In my mind’s eye I remembered: reading reading reading; the birdsong; the blueness of the spring sky; visiting my friend Phyllis; cosiness with my father and siblings; the solace of work that I love; a project I adore and am lucky to be a part of (thank you Sue Dymoke!); the kindness of my colleagues; students who amaze me with their creativity and resilence; the rekindling of old friendships; the sustaining intimacy of gatherings, real as well as virtual; bloggers I adore (you know who you are); music music music (thank you Max Richter!); Tatty’s ordination; my children; and gorgeous little Millie (who is snoring beside me as I type).

I tried summing this up as living in Brave Space. As the poem says, it was not perfect. And for much of the time felt inseparable from grief. But I could not remember having had deeper, longer and more real conversations for a very long time. I want more of that, I said. And to hug my dad again.

Wishing you all a very happy new year and much sweetness in the year to come.


  1. Thank you for your words you lovely soul. I too have felt moments of peace and happiness at a time when the world has dived into chaos – I have survived through poetry and nature and art and birdsong and Radio 3 and country walks and sea breezes and love .. I almost feel guilty to feel so blessed. You were at my start of 2020 as I asked for your poetry book for Christmas and here you are at the beginning of my 2021 … I give thanks for you and your wonderful words xx

    Liked by 2 people

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