Last week Ozzy had a narrator role in his school performance. It was a thought-provoking and sensitive depiction of The Truce in WW1. Innocent, wide-eyed eight and nine-year-olds spoke of a time of great unrest and turbulence..where families were separated and lives were lost. He relayed his lines with gravitas, as if respectful of the history held in those words, telling of how the soldiers climbed out of the trenches to exchange gifts and sing carols. There were tears – mostly mine.
For some, Christmas is a time of deep sadness, as if the sparkles on the surface only serve to exacerbate loss, struggle or loneliness. The frivolities, (over) consumption and merriment can signal an urgency to be joyful or a pressure to make it the happiest of times. And yet when happiness is a desired outcome it can curiously elude us.
The gifts are a fun tradition to mark the act of giving. Yet sometimes we get lost in the consumerism and place too much weight on its relevance. It’s often the experiences, the transient moments in time, that illuminate the most. I took Violet to her debut theatre performance with her lovely pals. As mums, we looked across the row of red velvet seats and saw the wonderment in their eyes, as they soaked up the magic and got lost in the story.
It’s in the coming together and sharing that we experience a sense of true connectivity. A warmth envelops us naturally when we let go of expectations and know that, if we’re feeling vulnerable, we can reach out to others and quietly hold the space to allow all feelings to come and go.
For even through loss, struggle and loneliness at this time of year, by coming together and sharing the experience, courage and compassion illuminate the darkness. In the act of opening up and leaning in, light floods in and kindness flows. In those unspoken moments of simply being, there is a startling realisation that the sparkle and glow isn’t just on the surface.
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