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.