Sunday, December 16, 2007

'Tis the Season


This scene (looking out my front door) was a meditation to me today, the pink blush of sunset tinting the bay, the very little snow we have whitening up the world like fresh laundry. It is warm - +10C. The Gulf Stream swathes this part of Newfoundland in a warm cuddle.

I am reminded of friends and relatives not doing so well at this time of the year.

One dear friend has got bone marrow tests coming up very shortly, her white blood cell count is very low and we are worried for her.

My daughter, who has MS, is going through a very bad cycle with tremors and joint pain.

My nephew has a court appearance tomorrow due to his ongoing addiction to drugs and his methods of securing them. All history now (we pray) as he has been clean and sober for over a year and we are hoping the judge will take that into account in the sentencing.

Last year another friend moved to BC with her partner to take care of her mother who was blind and debilitated due to diabetes. And her mother just died unexpectedly with the house all decorated. She died in my friend's arms as she was putting her to bed.

And all around me the shopping continues, the last minutes stresses. I'm glad I backed away from the insanity years ago and celebrate winter solstice - and very quietly at that.

A friend who used to work on the 911 lines in Toronto said it was the worst time of the year for domestic violence and suicides.

I'll be on the road on Christmas Day, heading back to Toronto for several months.

I was asking my daughter about seasonal memories and the one that stands out for us is the time we jumped in the car with my granddaughter and headed down to South Carolina in one stretch of shared driving on Christmas Eve and walked on the beach on Christmas Day. Myrtle Beach was abandoned, we had it all to ourselves and it was wonderful.

The big gatherings in Ireland were good but not really memorable. It is funny, that. I find in my family that we all revert to our old familial childish patterns when we get together, some of which should have been thrown out years ago. The big gatherings in Toronto, likewise. So much work and so much stress choosing the gifts, cooking and baking for often upwards of twenty people (who always seemed to stay over for Boxing Day Brunch!) and this total anti-climactic feeling afterwards. And the wreckage to clean up.

I'll probably celebrate "Nollaig na Mban" when I get back to Toronto. This is "Women's Christmas" which was my mother's big event of the season when all the females would get together on January 6th and dispose of the old year and welcome in the new.

Peace.

16 comments:

  1. I'll be with you on the 6th! My mother always celebrated Nollaig na Mban....after she had all the meals cooked and work done!

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  2. With me in spirit, GM, and more than welcome!
    XO
    WWW

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  3. It's the time of year when more than usual seem to suffer from ill-health. I guess the long nights and cold weather don't help. There's nothing like some warm sun on our backs to chase away the infirmities. Wherever you are, stay healthy and enjoy the blessings of the season.

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  4. Yes, RJA, my daughter maintains that the lack of Vitamin D has some really negative effects on us in this season of short days and cold nights.
    Backatcha! (as we say here!)
    XO
    WWW

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  5. More and more people seem to be saying how burdensome and overblown and disappointing Christmas has become and how good it would be if it were scaled back a bit. I do agree. Jenny and I will have a quiet Christmas on our own without anyone else to worry about and entertain! And as you say, it's the peak time for domestic violence and suicides.

    Sorry to hear of all the ill-health and other problems. My sister Heather has had motor neurone disease for almost five years, so I have some idea what MS must be like. But at least you don't have the Toronto weather!

    I like the idea of Women's Christmas - a nice antidote to the usual drunken Men's Christmas!

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  6. I love how the universe takes care of itself Nick, I'll bet in a few years we will all be back to 'simple' again. There is a hunger for it.
    Sorry to hear about your sister, it makes all our troubles seem so minor in comparison!
    Yes women's Christmas is very special.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. I do the absolute bare minimum and only buy gifts for family because they expect it. Otherwise, we completely ignore the holiday.

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  8. Medbh:
    I'm with you - and there is absolutely nothing like going to a movie (or several) on Christmas day.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Hi WWW

    I wish you and all your family the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

    xxx

    Pants

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  10. WWW dear, I am sorry to hear about the ailment and problems your loved ones are experiencing. Hope it all gets better for them.

    That is a lovely photograph you have put up there. So peaceful.

    Happy Solstice and a wonderful New Year wishes, I am sending your way.

    I will be there with you in spirit on the January 6th also. I am joining my mother-in-law on Friday morning for a sunrise ceremony with other women she knows, for the longest winter day.

    Wishing you all the best, and sending big hugs. It is great to have met you, albeit in cyber space. Maybe one day we can meet in person, I would really like that.
    Gx

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  11. Pants:
    Backatcha!
    Did you get moved? I know you were pushed to the very end of your elastic and I hope it didn't snap.
    Are you on your way to India?
    Delightful conversing with you through the year!
    XO
    WWW

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  12. so happy to see you tramping around the blogs again, Gaye! You always have something interesting to say!
    Who knows I might be in Ireland this year, a lot of pressure is being applied to me so we may meet up.
    Enjoy the sunrise ceremony and have a great new year!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Oh that would be so so so great! I hope the pressure will be too great for you not to visit Ireland!
    Of course you'd announce an imminent trip to Dublin here first right? I'd like to make sure I am around to meet you, how wonderful would that be. :)
    Gx

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  14. I will let you know for sure, Gaye. I often wonder if meeting a fellow blogger in the flesh would take away some of the excitement of the unknown. (I tend to write a lot about the unknown in my commercial writing!)
    I need to test my theory!
    XO
    WWW

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  15. Ok, you are on! Let's test the theory and as a side benefit you might end up with material for your writing on the unknown. :)
    Gx

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  16. Alrightee Gaye!
    I'll let you know the plans!
    XO
    WWW

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