I was walking in the park into the stiff north easterly wind that could, as the wise ones are prone to remark, take the skin off your nose. In other words it was bitterly cold. A bunch of school kids were out on the playing field kicking a ball. I felt sorry for them especially for the ones who were dressed in short sleeved shirts. And I was thinking that life is a little like a walk in the park on a cold dry day in Galway because first you have to plough through the shaded area facing the wind until you turn a corner and all of a sudden the low sun hits your face and you stop and celebrate everything. You become suddenly grateful for small blessings. You might even stop and close your eyes.
I felt like that today. I heard from a long lost person in my life. Someone I thought I would never hear from again. Someone I had lost. But the letter I received cleansed everything. Hand written words are so stunningly true. So gratifying. It is as if the soul of the person who wrote them is sitting in the palm of your hands. Touching you with every sweep and deft brush of the pen. The curls and intertwining of letters become a thing of eloquent beauty. So, I wept. I wept for the chance to resolve all that had turned bad. I rejoiced.
My son sent me a text from Dublin. He said, all is good Mom. Just back from the library and going for a run. I am happy, X. Again, the gift of his words carried me through the day. I felt a rush of warmth in my blood. I felt satisfied.
It was a day too for making the mince meat for the mince pies. A tradition that I gather up the ingredients at this time of year. I don't know why but it always seems like a chore until I actually start the process. Then, once I begin mixing the cranberries and sultanas and suet and mixed peel with the grated orange peel and lemon peel. I begin to enjoy myself. I weigh out the muscovado. Grate the cooking apples. Measure the spices, the cinnamon and mixed spice. Grate the nutmeg. Put it all into a bowl to sit for twelve hours. Then into a low oven for another three and then, then add the magical brandy and in it goes to the jars ready for the Christmas feast. It is a lovely thing to do. It seems like a metaphor of sorts for the year. The mish mash of events. The random sundry ingredients that combine to make a glistening jewel at the end of it all.
I should add that the letter I received is from a person who lost a loved one to both of us. Her strength and faith is evident and to be admired. I miss the loved one as much as she does but she misses him more if you can understand that. She loved him like a soul mate. She wrote to me that life is like walking on egg shells. She wrote that I should count my blessings. And I do. I count each day like a walk in the park. A bit of shade and cold wind never did us any harm. It is only when you can't turn the corner to walk into the sunshine that things go awry and sometimes there isn't always sunshine to lighten our load. And more than often the shells crack into shards of something you thought was there.