Friday, 28 December 2012

Quiet moments...

There have been a few of these. And I'm trying to let them be what they will be and not feel they have to be filled...

Walking across the city late at night enjoying the lights across the market...

...and on the front of city hall...

Reflecting on finishing this scarf for a dear friend, at 10.30 pm Christmas Eve...!

 Waking early on Boxing Day to a beautiful sunrise...

I'm not great at quiet times. Which is a bit contradictory because actually, I have always felt I need my own space. But I'm an inveterate fidget and have to be constantly doing and somehow, when the quiet and space is there much of the time, its much harder to appreciate. My mother used to call me 'Contrary Mary' as a child! Maybe she was right!

Christmas Eve this year was particularly difficult, a bit unexpectedly. It has always seemed such a busy day to me - last minute preparations, wrapping, often I've had to work and we have always had a big, 'beginning of festivities' meal in the evening. This was the first year, ever I think, that I have been entirely on my own. I had the day off work, I'd pretty much got everything sorted (apart from the scarf!!) and it seemed ridiculous to mark the start of Christmas celebrations on my own! So once I'd delivered the last few parcels and shopped for milk and veg, I settled down with my knitting and the TV...

Rod Stewart at Stirling Castle - bit cheesy, but beautiful surroundings and worth watching just for the few moments of Nicola Benedetti playing the violin so that it sent the hairs on the back of my neck up on end. Carols from Kings College - heavenly sounds and angelic looking choir boys that brought tears to my eyes with Away in a Manger. (do you think they are angelic??! bet they are as mischievous as any other little boys at times!!)

I used to always go to church on Christmas Eve - haven't done for years, and I can't say I'm particularly religious but I suddenly felt an urge to go and at least be with some other people, so I wandered up to the nearest church. It is a really lovely little gothic building and the midnight service was quite well attended. Now don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with people who have a strong and complete faith - in fact I think I quite admire them - I just think its a very personal thing and I'm not very keen on the slightly evangelical attitude of some. I love the sense of history and the beauty of the buildings, the poetry and rhythm of the words and the feeling of being uplifted by the singing. I completely accept the principles of loyalty and sharing and the endeavour of investing in your own humanity to become a better person. But I do always, just slightly, feel I've strayed into a private club, where I don't quite know the rules, or the words. 

It was a little bit like that on Christmas Eve. I think I was a bit in an emotional place in any case. Then when I walked into the church I realised that the last time I had been there was for the wedding of friends, two months before I got married, and one of the hymns was one we had at our wedding... Which completely did for me. Seem to be hopelessly unable to hold my emotions in check these days! 

Anyway, in spite of all that, by the end of the service I felt a distinct sense of peace and calm. I don't know that I can say that it was any kind of epiphany or anything, but I came out feeling inspired to try to be more kind in my day to day thoughts and actions, to take the time to value the good in people and the world around me. And to think positive thoughts in the quiet moments... 

This is definitely not meant to be some kind of conversion piece - I just needed to put down how I felt. 

And I might go again. At least I might get some of the words right next time...!

Hoping you've all had happy times at Christmas - not many days til 2013!

So, til the New Year then...!



  1. Hi Sandra, I started watching the Rod Stewart thing, but I ended up switching it off :( I attended a Full Mass funeral just before Christmas and I started to get a little angry at the constant going on of 'praying for the deceaseds sins and our sins'(at least an hour of the service was about this arrh) I would have much rather celebrated the life of a very lovely man. But each to his own. Christmas was hectic and have enjoyed some very quiet crafty, reading time the last couple of days(and eating) recharging very depleted batteries. Even some time laying out in the sun when it isn't too hot. I am starting to feel human again. Have you any time off? I can relate to the constantly doing something, I too am constantly doing something, but I find that restful as well.
    Take care xx

  2. The city does look beautiful at this time of year.
    I am a fidget to and find it totally impossible to do nothing!
    I have to say I agree with you on faith, Im not religious and totally admire the faith that other people hold.
    Hope Christmas day was filled with happiness for you.
    All the best for 2013

  3. Hi Sandra, away in a manger always brings tears to my eyes when sung by Children.....I never expect it to but suddenly I'm filling up. I'm quite easily in tears and think it's getting worst as I get older.
    I'll blame hormones but I think it's just how I am ...generally a bit overly sentimental and quite easily stressed.
    Getting your thoughts down in writing is a good idea . Over at my blog I don't feel brave enough to do that very often.
    Here's to 2013.
    Jacquie x

    1. Maybe it is a bit of an age thing?! I'm sure I'm getting worse - or maybe we just get more emotional as we get older?! I blame a tendency to overthink things, perhaps I should just try to let life happen and not take things to heart so much!!
      Happy New Year to you, I'll raise a glass to 2013, cheers!


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