I’m just emerging from the limbo-land, the lethargy, the liminal place if you like, that is the ocean of space after Christmas and New Year. This is the empty interval when the decorations lie reproachfully on the conservatory floor asking to be put away, and the world waits to wake up and function again. When I was a child, this time simply didn’t exist. Boxing Day happened and then dads were back at work, Christmas food had all been consumed and children had a few days to play with new toys before the school bell clanged for them in the playground.
But maybe I have those age rose-tinted spectacles on again?
I note with guilt that fellow bloggers have ben much more productive than I have been, posting thoughts and reflections about Christmas and Epiphany whilst I have been doing not much at all. But then Christmas and New Year were for me filled with intense activity, taken up with our blended family of six children and seven grandchildren and very lovely it was too. There’s nothing like dancing to ‘Camptown Races’ at seven in the morning with a three-year-old to shake off the cobwebs. And at the end of it all, we were really quite tired. ‘We’re not as young as we once were,’ we say to each other which is about the most obvious thing you can say, but we say it anyway.
But this week, I feel I am back in the world, or at least back in the room. A dental appointment this morning insisted I rise early and get the car on the road. My cathedral Eucharist last Sunday where I acolyted asked that I remain alert and watch where I put my feet. An email from someone welcoming me to join their Creation, Justice and Peace group thrilled, as I felt I might be making some tiny contribution.
Throughout it all though, throughout the breakfast and the pasta for nine people around the table every day, the games of ‘sleepy kitten’ with a toddler, the readings on a loop of ‘Maisy goes to London’ and the endless ‘Hey Duggee’ episodes on TV, I have tried to retain a sense of connection with God and with myself – although Thomas Merton might well say they are one and the same. I have done this by praying my Third Order Community Obedience each morning and Compline at night. The trick is, I found, is to do it in bed as being the one place where I am guaranteed some quiet, although nothing is as lovely as a little person creeping in beside you wanting a snuggle.
And these words from the Prayer in the Day offering of the C of E kept my spiritual show on the road so to speak:
May your kingdom come, O God,
with deliverance for the needy,
with peace for the righteous,
with overflowing blessing for all nations...
and I think as I say these words that there is nothing we could want more than this sort of justice raining down on us all.
But now I have awakened, put off the sloth of night and girded my loins if you like, to be productive again. And I find I am writing. I said to my husband this morning that I could never write again! I couldn’t make those little black dots on white paper and I certainly couldn’t make them say anything meaningful.
But here I am, attempting to do just that.
And a lot of blogposts talk about resolutions for the year, things to achieve, ways to be better and I do have some aims for the coming months. I don’t want to make a big thing out of them and put myself under more pressure. Here they are anyway, my imperfect ideas and not too specific to give some space for God to join in.
I would like to continue exploring being a Franciscan through the novitiate journey.
I would like to see more of our precious family.
I would like to go on a retreat (already booked!)
I would like to discover where I can make a difference.
And I would like to draw closer to God.
It’s good to be back and thank you for reading this and for being my companion on the road. As we look for the signposts of 2022, I hope you will continue to walk with me.
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