My Mum would have turned eighty today, and here is the bouquet I made for her. I’d wanted to the roses to be a little more vibrantly peachy-orange, but the variety I ordered called Magma did not arrive. This was the next best alternative. Mum was a darked eyed beauty who positively glowed in those sorts of gold tones.
The rest of the bouquet is made up of two types of chrysanthemum, yellow daisy and green button, and my long time favourite, limonium. The mint, cerinthe purpurea, parsley and stokesia were all from my garden. It’s also the solstice tomorrow, so these golden tones paired with blues speak to me of Australian colours at the beginning of summer.
For many people and for many reasons, this time of year can be particularly difficult. I am one of them. It’s no secret amongst friends that I didn’t have the best of relationships with my Mum, and that my marriage failed at this time too. I find the rammed-down-the-throat family togetherness messages only adds to the discomfort of the time. I am thinking also of all those who have lost people in the last year and who are facing the first Christmas with their absence looming over them. There have been two deaths recently in my world, and I am particularly thinking of my aunt and cousins, and my friend’s daughters right now.
This is not easy to handle. Nor do I have any particularly good advice on how to weather it. I took plenty of walks in the cool of the day, had a few trusted friends on standby and avoided large crowds and noisy places. That’s what worked for me, a classic introvert whose heart sinks when the door bell rings. You’ll have to figure out your own sanity preserving strategies.
Frankly Christmas is mystifying to me. For actively committed Christians it is obviously central to them. But for the rest of us? It’s a crazy making, financially draining, calorie laden marketing ploy which relies on cheap foreign labour to make goods that we don’t really need and which probably won’t last the distance.
Sorry to be a downer there folks.
I’ll be going home, shutting the door and getting some much needed rest, no decorations, no special cooking, and a bunch of rented DVDs until all the Christmas specials, movies and advertising finishes.
However you chose to spend this time, I hope it works for you. Thanks for reading and may all your good wishes for yourself, your family, friends and the world come true.