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.