I went to church this week and it was full of all the hymns and soothing we can be (and I am very) grateful for. All services, within all religions, nationwide, were ceased this year and silence fell. I’m not a church go-er as such but I do feel very at home there.
Before her dad drove 450 miles there, and all the way back, to bring our first born home from University this Christmas break, my eldest daughter recorded an in-person but physically distanced Christmas service with her choir. Online was how I attended.
No, it is nothing like the same as standing inside a jaw droppingly bewildering building. Nope, it doesn’t offer the acoustics which crawl inside our skins and make the emotions rise like ferociously bubbling hot water on the stove. I did not feel the companionship of the pews surrounding me as we shared the moments of awe listening to tear driving harmonies. But it was still absolutely wonderful. Wonderful to feel that, however challenging and tenuous, it found a way through. Aside from the main, distanced choir, readers read from their living rooms to me, singers recorded from their bedrooms. Mary didn’t have The Savoy, she didn’t even have a Premier Inn, but she had something far more precious. She had people who said “We can do this” and that is everything.
Each one of us will likely mourn something this Christmas day. Even the shared knowledge that we have all stepped through this jagged and fragmented year together, is not quite enough to mellow some of the stings. But (and the ‘but’ is always important and I believe it is perfectly good to start a sentence with ‘but’), we have made it through to this mile marker and, in equal measure, we can be proud and grateful for some things.
Light your fairy lights for they demonstrate that we need darkness to see them glow. And I wish you a little treat, a little sound, a little connection, and a little pudding this Christmas day. Chocolate for breakfast is very acceptable, tinned soup is very acceptable, jumping onto Twitter and searching the #JoinIn hashtag is more than acceptable. Let it all just be!
Thanks to you my friends, we have held tight and I wish each of you reading this a very happy Christmas, in whatever form it falls.
Much love to you from me, in the fairy lit room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.
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