This may seem like a morbid start to the year, but we took the wee one to St Andrews Cathedral a couple of days ago to let off some steam (read: pursue the enemy alien baddies and use the force to rescue the goodies) and this message captivated me entirely. The topic of mortality is a bit of a raw issue in our house, the wee one is still trying to get his head around it after a string of bereavements (of the human and animal variety) in the past year and no-one really wants to contemplate their not-being-ness for too long now do they? But by far the most memorable start to a lecture series ever was the inestimable Roger Robinson quoting from the funeral sentences in the Book of Common Prayer – ‘In the midst of life we are in death…‘ and this thought has stayed with me for most of my adult life. Life is joyous and fabulous in so many ways…yet shadowed always by the hint of our tenous grip on existence. The love I am so grateful to share now will sustain me through the pain of life – and the dizzying heights of happiness that life brings will always be a little shot through with the fragility of mortality.
With this music faintly ringing in my ear, I resolve to grasp life firmly this year, and to try to do the following…
- Walk up this hill at least once a month (once a week would be good, but wholly unrealistic, given our schedule and the weather!):
- Organise the little bits of chaos around the house – in particular, find the books a new home, like this beauty maybe:
- Whip myself back into shape, perhaps with the help of a weekly class in the village, which is long overdue:
- Figure out whether or not it is time for the wee guy to begin school here:
- Take ourselves off for at least a week in the sun – hopefully somewhere like this:
- Treat myself to a night at the ballet:
- Spend more time outdoors with these guys:
- Find a place and time to give a little back in gratitude for all that is good in our lives.
Of course, life may get in the way of all these intentions…but it is wonderfully freeing to be poised on the brink of a new year, ready to blow the cobwebs of the old year out of your head and attempt to live a little more purposefully through the coming months. Happy New Year everyone!