Earlier this year, I was thinking ahead, knowing that I would find a festive image when we visited Gloucester Cathedral. The nativity scene is just a small panel within one of the vast and beautiful stained glass windows which are such a wonderful feature of the Cathedral.
The festive season:
It is not about Black Friday
It is not about Amazon deliveries
It is not about cards and gifts, or tables groaning with festive fare
It is about the amazing wheel of life that brings us round once again to the birth of a new year and another chance to figuratively start afresh; with whatever the new year may bring.
The theme of the culmination of anticipation resulting in a birth can be symbolic of so many forms of new beginning, and new ways of living our lives. I am no Theologian and would never presume to sermonise but on a personal level, I welcome the symbolism of the nativity … though I would struggle to explain quite why. It just feels to me like a message of hope.
Light is a theme I return to frequently in my writing and I am very happy that we have just passed the winter solstice so that we are moving into the light again, with longer days bringing a renewed sense of optimism.
When you have experienced loss, particularly the loss of a child, each turn of the year’s circle cannot be anything other than poignant, as you step into another new year without that person. In the case of a child, who should most definitely not have died before you, you have lost the chance to watch he or she grow and mature and that is a desperately sad concept … but one which you have to live. You cannot put down your burden, you have to know that you will always carry it – but, the more ‘normally’ you can begin to live your life, the easier it becomes to shoulder the burden… of course, this happens over time.
If you have had a good year, I hope that 2015 will be even better.
If you have had a bad year, I hope that 2015 will see an upturn in your fortunes.
Thank you to everyone who has given me amazing support this year, whether that is emotionally, practically, through reading my book and this blog or generally being there for me. I couldn’t have done it nearly so well without you all.