This months Blog is provided by our Chaplain Grace Palmer;
I often go for brisk walks in the morning and often it is raining, damp, foggy, misty and windy. Needless to say that by the time I come back home, I am quite wet but rather pleased with myself for doing so. I do enjoy my walks. Am I crazy…frightfully so! I tell myself, surely a bit of rain and wind and icy temperature will not stop me from enjoying what I love most. And of course a steaming cup of tea later makes it all the more worthwhile.
What do you love most in life? As I was reflecting this festive period, many came to my mind, those who love Christmas and those who loathe it. The world and I of course…is still coming to terms with this virus and the effects of it and the challenges it has brought about in our day to day lives. We are still learning to live in this new situation and allowing ourselves to get a little excited with the possibility of a vaccine someday soon. But suddenly Christmas has come upon us.
But worst still, I think of the many who are struggling this Christmas. I think of the many who are living in fear, anxiety and those who are locked in their own homes. Many who do not see a way out. There are countless people who have lost their jobs, their very livelihood and have lost the joy in their lives.
Yet, I have also met those who are so resilient at the face of adversity. Many who have chosen to be happy and make the most in the ordinary. I have met many elderly folks who have continued their shopping, walking, gardening and keeping to their daily routines albeit a few limitations. Many share of the things they can still do. Many who have chosen a new way of living and those who have come to terms of living life in a new way.
What are your thoughts this Christmas because there are so many limitations. What is the real meaning of Christmas and what does Christmas mean to you? Is it just about presents, food and family or is there more- I ask myself.
I also do know, nothing and no one can stop me from enjoying the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus came into this world to give light, hope, joy, and salvation. These are all mine if I choose to have it. Even if we are all alone these can be ours. I know of many who have done it and have found joy and hope even in the depths of despair.
There are so many restrictions this Christmas and it saddens me to think that I cannot see many of my loved ones …then I am reminded of the lovely family I am surrounded with…at work and in my neighbourhood. These are people who come from all different backgrounds, colour, race, culture, religion and more. My life is beautiful because of these people in my life who are not my blood family but family nonetheless. A different kind of Christmas altogether this year. Embracing and apprecaiting the things, people, culture, food and lifestyle that I had not thought of doing so before. I believe this virus has brought many positive changes in me than I give it credit for. The change has to start within us.
I never used to like walking in the rain. But living in Britain has taught me if I were to wait for the rain to stop, I might miss my walk for the day which I really love.
Perhaps this Christmas we are meant to be doing things differently. Doing things we have never done before, speaking to people we have never spoken to, embracing things anew.
For me a brisk walk even in the rain has become a joy and a delight over the years. Christmas is going to be different this year but we can still have fun. There are still a million things we can do this Christmas- a little different but it is still on. Or perhaps you fancy dancing in the rain this Christmas unlike me who sticks to “walking in the rain”.
As I continue to walk in the rain, I would like to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a BLESSED NEW YEAR 2021.
Who knows the rainbow may just be round the corner?