Sunday Sage: Magical Windows
Belated Christmas wishes!! I hope you had the most amazing, awesome Christmas ever.
We had a really nice time. In fact, I think I have this whole Sage thing nailed.
Christmas was simple.
It was relaxed.
It was fun.
But despite all the Sage Simplicity, it still felt like we were all creeping through this strange narrow tunnel of festive days, where the days are short, the nights are long and you are contained in this revolving cylinder of food, red wine and repeating festive tunes.
Now I am completely disorientated. I’m not actually sure which day it is … or what time it is, or whether Christmas is over …
I can barely think straight at all. Ha. I think I have Alice Fever!
The funny thing is that whilst creeping through this bizarre tube of madness, there have been a series of magical windows along the way.
The first window opened on Christmas Eve.
I was walking into town with the children. As we went by the hotel that belongs to my ex-husband’s family, a little elfish face peeped around the corner. My first impression was how sweet and beautiful the face was.
My second impression was that I knew the person … but I hadn’t seen her in over 16 years!
She had travelled to the Isle of Wight for Christmas, bringing with her a book that I’d gifted to her daughter 18 years before and at the precise moment that she was dropping the book back at the hotel … I’d happened to walk past! We had a quick and dirty overview of the last decade and swopped numbers.
Once she had gone, I paused to take one delicious moment with this book.
On the very first page, in my mum’s writing, it said “For Harry – 25th December 1979″.
The book had been for my brother’s first Christmas.
My brother isn’t alive now.
And this book was two years older than me.
The second window opened on Christmas day.
As I mentioned last week, we didn’t get gifts for anyone except the children and a couple of things for each other.
However, there was one big box left under the Christmas tree right at the end of the day and it was addressed to me.
Underneath the wrapping was a wooden box, decoupaged with old newspapers.
Inside was a card from my aunt.
It explained that when my Gran died last year, she had been clearing the rooms and found a scrappy bag that contained all of the letters and cards that the grandchildren had sent Gran when we were small. My gran had noted the date on the back of each one.
Aunt Dennise, in her breathtakingly wonderful way, had separated the letters that me and my brother had sent to Gran and given them back to me in the box.
I cried when I read them.
Not only did I realise how precious these little things were to my gran, but it was also a window into my own childhood over thirty years ago.
I could almost feel her whispering, “Love your family, Bethan. Keep them close. Treasure the little things.
Shortly after came this ….
Aysha, Rowan and Reid gave me an amazing gift; a small, brass kaleidoscope.
A stained glass window, filtering over reality and shifting with the tiniest of touches …
I’ve loved kaleidoscopes since I was a child; some simple and some sophisticated.
There is something magical and magician-like about these mechanical instruments of perception.
I think what I love is this: we think we see the world as it is but actually we see it through an intricate design of our personal beliefs and understandings. Just like a kaleidoscope, with one tiny twist of our understanding, the picture we have of the world can be completely redesigned. One little thing … can change everything.
That is magical.
On Christmas Day I spent a lot of time with my kaleidoscope up against the window so the December light could filter through the patterned glass.
One day, I’m going to have a roof top room with massive windows, with a whole collection of cog-ridden, metal kaleidoscopes.
My gift to Adam was a treasure hunt.
Each parcel contained a present that symbolised part of our journey together; our meeting, our joint loves and passions.
Last but not least, Ads unwrapped this …
It was a jug that I painted a week or so before Christmas …
… capturing on it the three children that we’ve been gifted with.
Inside the jug was an organza bag that was filled with risotto rice and a card with instructions that told Ads to pour the rice into the jug.
And this was when these were revealed …
You see, rice is steeped in symbolism.
Each grain has the potential, if nurtured, to feed an entire family – perhaps even a community.
It is the staple nourishment for nearly 3 billion people – half the world’s population – symbolising abundance.
It can be kept and stored for a long time – symbolising security.
A little card, tucked into the rice, read,
“Rice has always been a beautiful symbol of abundance and prosperity, for as you give each grain of rice all it needs to grow, it cannot help but become more rice. When we give ourselves and our loved ones all that we need – that is love, compassion and understanding – we too naturally grow and blossom to become the best we can be.”
Since ancient times people have celebrated rice and in ancient India, art and writing was inscribed upon tiny pieces that were turned into charms.
And, when he dipped his hand into the jug of rice, this was what Adam found …
On the back of the rice was the date, “25/12/2015″
Exactly 36 years after my mum gave my brother the book I’d received the day before.
To my delight, Adam said, “yes”.
People we know will probably think that I gave Adam some rice because he is a chef.
The truth is that I gave him the rice because of the massive future that the one little grain contains.
And now … here we are … the 27th of December.
It’s nearly over!
There is light at the end of the bizarre festive tunnel; the Winter Solstice has folded it’s page in the year and the nights are now getting shorter. Its as though we’ve crept through the cylinder of a kaleidoscope and we’re about to emerge into a stunningly, vibrant, flourishing New Year …
I can’t wait.
I feel that this is going to be a WHOPPINGLY AMAZING 12 months.
I also feel very stuffed full of rich food, rich wine, indulgence and sofa-lolling.
Jan is definitely going to be Detoxville.
And that’s a good thing because I can see 2016 just out on the horizon now … like a great big full ship, crammed full of treasures and dreams and lucky rice and abundant gorgeousness. Just four days until we step into a brand new kaleidoscope year …