For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Onwards... forwards...

We didn't do Christmas or New Year cards this year. Not only the money, but also the time and energy I usually spend on cards went to the most important charity I can think of: my home and my family.
Nevertheless it feels a bit strange not having sent good wishes to friends and family, so Myrna and I are busy thinking up a worthwhile alternative. One we can work on without the pressure of the annual madness that seems to surround Christmas and New Year.
The fact that we've all been ill made for a reasonably quiet and low key Midwinter Time. For myself, this time is all about celebrating the birth of Light and respecting the stillness in Nature. I like to surround myself with candles and to stay at home as much as possible.
There was a time when the children were happy just staying at home, playing games, lighting a fire and candles, and those kind of things. But nowadays they want a bit more action, more socializing.
Living on her own, AL just makes her own plans nowadays. She was out most nights and only joined us for diner on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Owen is happy staying at home, as long as he can watch some films and set off his fireworks at the New Year.
Myrna was extremely bored this year. We did some games with her and we watched a film together - Vin Diesel in The Pacifier, wow! - but it just wasn't enough for her. Next year we'll have to organise something she really enjoys.

My clan-daughter came over from Holland with her new boyfriend. They arrived the day after Christmas and left on Monday morning to spend New Year's Eve in London. It was absolutely lovely to see them and we had a great time. The boyfriend is really, really nice and it was so good to see her happy.
Although there is no blood relationship, it is amazing to see how much she and my birth-daughters look alike. And it's even more amazing how much she and Myrna are alike, despite the 18 year difference in age. Not only in looks, but in every other way, too. They are both perfectionists, outgoing, gregarious, stubborn, self-confident, etcetera. But they're even alike in their way of walking and in little gestures. For instance, both of them when they're reading and have to stop, they put a bookmark in (never fold a page!), close the book and hold it up in front of them to see how far in the book they are. They even have similar handwritings.

On Friday another one of my clan-children arrives from Holland, with his girlfriend. To have my clan-children with me in this holiday time means more than all the nice food and fireworks in the whole world. Even though they're all grown up and lead their own lives, leaving them 'behind' in Holland was one of the hardest things about moving countries. Of course we keep in touch, through MSN, email and telephone. But there is no replacing the physical contact, the hugs, the looking each other in the eyes and being able to communicate without the words. As an observer I always get just as much - or with some of them even more! - information out of watching my children as I do from talking with them.

My clan-daughter has been with her new boyfriend for a while now and she'd told me lots about him. I'd seen pictures of him and even of his work (he's an artist). So I had quite a bit of information. But now that I've seen him and I've seen them together, now that I've actually felt their energy together, I feel my impression is more accurate, more complete.
She comes to England as often as she can, and obviously when I go to Holland I go and see her. Up to now, every goodbye has been really difficult for me. I was always left with this heart tearing feeling for a few days. But this time it was different. I still cried after she'd left, because I'm going to miss her. And I know that she is going to miss us. But to know that now she's got someone she's really happy with and who loves and respects her for who she is, that makes a huge difference.

There was a lot of synchronicity in her search for a new relationship and our search for a new home. The process we went through, the lessons we've learned. The choices we made, the pains we suffered, the gratitude we felt.
I share that very special feeling of interconnectedness with her, with my sister and with my best friends. It makes distances disappear and time irrelevant.
It makes life magical.


'EF' x said...

Wonderful when our children are making their own strong choices xxx

shukr said...

This feels so loving, cosy, connected. Warm!

thenewstead6 said...

wishing you peace and light, and abundance of the things that bless, please and build, for 2008.

Ann x