The circle of life goes on.
Yesterday, I heard that Glynis's mother is coming peacefully to the end of her life, and as I write, Glynis and Peter are preparing to fly to South Africa. And then this morning, I had an email from a dear friend in Zimbabwe to tell me that her husband had died earlier in the year. I didn't know. If ever there was a very good nudge about what I wrote yesterday, this was it. Time. I was so wrapped up in my own life and battles that I did not take the time to check in on a friend.
Gill is an amazing woman. We were at university together back in the dark ages, and she and Peter have stayed on in Harare, through the worst period of its history. Peter was a vicar, and Gill is the head of a large school in the capital. Their 4 children are scattered around the world. Her elderly parents moved in with them in the past year. Living in Zimbabwe makes any challenges we are facing pale into total insignificance, so your prayers for her safety, strength and the example of her faith to only grow would be really appreciated. And while you are about it, please add Zimbabwe to your prayer lists. It is a living nightmare. The place the world forgot.
These photos were taken from the television at midnight. In the Casa del la Rocking Chair, we go for exciting times, and the fireworks from London were spectacular! Especially from the comfort of the couch, snuggled under a blanket, while the 700 000 people watching IRL were being rained on. Cold. Wet.
So here we are, in a new year. It is like having a brand new book with crisp clean pages, and our pens held ready, about to write the story of our days. Stroke that empty page, and pause for a moment and think about the possibilities ahead to document.... it is time for dreams to be pondered and hopes to be considered.
Having a heart open to what challenges life will offer does not mean sitting safely under the blanket on the couch all day every day, even though there are times I can think of nothing more perfect. Like now.
2007 is gone. Over. Done with. It had many highs and then a good few lows too. Lots of lessons and lots of changes. Challenges. Times to flounder and times to roll with laughter. Sometimes I failed. And sometimes I did well. I made loads of mistakes. I let fear win too many times. My biggest failing is that I try to do it all myself, and won't share the load. This is crazy stuff. I am not god. I should have let others help when they offered. The grace and serenity I long for showed up now and then, and then I blew it over and over again. I. Me. No-one else. I was born on a Thursday. Thursday's child, the old rhyme says, has far to go. (I have just yelled at my Mother for having me on a Thursday. Friday would have been better. My sister was born on a Sunday. Bonny, blythe, good and gay.... you get the picture. Snarl. Mum laughed at me, and said I was born on Ascension Day, so should be happy about that. That is beside the point. Humpf.)
Where was I???? Far to go. Hmmm. Oh yes. I seem to take the long circuitous route everywhere. I get there in the end, but it is the slooooooooow road. (This does not apply to my directional skills or speed on the roads, however. I am very good at that!) As I am, by nature, impatient, this is a torturous process. There is a lesson in progress here. I know, I know. (As I am writing this, the New Year Concert from Vienna is on...glorious music filling the house.)
I digress. I am easily distracted today.
I like taking detours. I like the interesting byways and then I get frustrated because the final destination gets further and further away. Like with the Inquest, for example. I became absolutely fascinated by the workings of the heart, so I delved deeper and deeper and now have this impressive kalaedoscopic knowledge of stuff which is of absolutely no use to me whatsoever, and is unlikely to ever pop up in normal conversation. And it made the research take far longer than necessary. You see? Not always bad stuff, just unnecessary. Interesting though. I am like a magpie, except I collect bits of information.
So where does that leave my glance back at 2007? Full of new experiences. A realisation that I am not as young as I once was. Wiser. Full of new roles. A simpler life. After letting me dawdle through life at my own pace, He has upped the ante, and I am having to rumble into a faster gear, and get moving. He has plans for me, and is tired of waiting. Am I up to the challenge? Only He knows. I will have to do the best I can.
As I take a flying leap into 2008, I am so glad to have you all alongside me. We have stories to write about the lives we live. So get out that clean page and let's get going!