Because it’s traditionally been lonely and over-stressed, I’ve hated it for years. This has lessened with having Jake. There’s nothing like having a child to show you how to celebrate. But this was beyond that. This wasn’t just about family and the coming together of those magical elements that make up Christmas. This was about being in the moment, all day, and how those moments made up one simple, flowing gorgeous day. Listening to the Christmas songs I love, realising that the best ones are tinged with sadness, I felt how true happiness is not about banishing sadness or grief, but embracing it in that bittersweet way.
So it was somehow fitting that it was our last Christmas with our neighbours from across the road. They are leaving in January. E & her father are going to China for an indefinite period and E’s mother is staying in Kent, where she now works. They are leaving their London flat for good. We won’t have them as neighbours anymore. Jake won’t have his friend from across the road. They won’t be at nursery together. We won’t be able to look out our window and see their friendly faces waving back at us. They are a big part of why I love living here. And now, they’re leaving. So our time together yesterday was heightened, the way spices, sharp and hot on your tongue bring tears to your eyes but flavour to your tongue, all the way down to your heart. Just by being together, sharing food, laughter, watching our children play together. Holding the sadness in the midst of the happiness, holding them in each palm, just letting them be.
|Taken by Jake|