The Nostalgia of Noel

Christmas is a reckoning.

It is a time for reconciling the past with the present, who you are with who you used to be. It is a time for reminiscing, for planning for the future, for remembering those who have passed and celebrating new life.

I love it all.

The months of planning and thought that go into the presents, the back and forth of who is bringing what, the wafting scent of pine luring me, raising memories and echoes of laughter and the tearing of wrapping paper.

I love the baking, the fudge, the flour-coated bench tops. The curious questions about chimneys and the man with a white beard, silent reverence towards the fragile baby breathing softly amidst the hay.  The presents that appear secretively, wrapped in white paper, cobbled together with staples and lovingly scrawled names. I love the tunes, verses rich with centuries of poetry, calling forth a depth of spirit, a redemptive view of humanity.

Christmas is a time where we revisit the previous iterations of ourselves – that first peek with a cautious eye towards the end of the bed as dawn light creeps over the covers, hoping we haven’t been forgotten. The grip of anticipation as the hours dawdle towards morning, the wash of wonder at bulging stockings magically appearing overnight. Our spirits delight in the laughter of children, a fleeting wish to bottle the magic that appears in the unrestrained wonder of sparkling eyes.

Tastes that are quintessentially Christmas – the creamy cinnamon bite of eggnog, the wafting heartiness of slow-roasting pork, the sweet hint of cranberry with slices of turkey. Layers of trifle, the crunch of fresh bread, delectable treats with hints of gingerbread, candy cane, chocolate. I love the marrying of flavours – salads with pomegranate bursts, savoury baby carrots, feta and macadamia nuts, the salty tang of ham.

There are moments to gloss over – interactions that don’t quite go to plan, exhaustion spilling out in irritated bursts and high-pitched complaints. Wistful wishes of collapsing amidst the mess, drink in hand, absorbing the beautiful chaos. The sense of obligations unfulfilled – torn between present parenting and conscientious cleaning. Overturned glasses, wildly flung limbs, interrupted naps.

There is something otherworldly about it all. A haunting space where worlds collide, even if just for a spattering of moments.

As the twilight darkens and unnaturally quiet children are packed into their seats – boxes towering precariously in every available space, we pause – words elusively distant, thoughts a jumbled cacophony of overwhelming sensations – and marinate in the heavy silence.

It is finished.

Continue Reading

A Tainted Tribute

The internet told me once that the more effusive you are on social media in relation to your partner, the more likely it is that your relationship is doomed. I have absolutely no research to back up that notion but it struck something of a chord in me and I […]

Continue Reading

The Gravity of Joy

It is the wafting threads of rising dough the strains of lifting music  that beg to be turned up louder It is the first glimpse of a new day a fresh chance after darkness and tears in the night The stir of tiny movements after a horrifying absence When the […]

Continue Reading


I can breathe again Fill my lungs with hope and  gaze forward beyond the next queasy moment Bend down to sort toys into  boxes, think about something other than my next desperate meal See altercations without  expelling a sigh of  ‘seriously’ Embrace the giving of  lectures, cuddles, guidance Savour the aroma […]

Continue Reading

Grappling with Gratitude

It hasn’t been an ideal month in which to practice gratitude. Or, perhaps I should say, it has been the most ideal. We’ve struggled with parenting battles – rages that unhappily coincide with bedtime and can last for hours – moments of being all consumed with how to respond with […]

Continue Reading

The Secret Brew

Something is unfurling. Like the brittle tea leaves yielding to the wrap of the steaming flow, it uncurls and stretches in secret. To brew. The word is so evocative, enchanting. It speaks of magic – of inexplicable moments happening almost unseen before our very eyes. I’m not known for my […]

Continue Reading

A Place of Stillness

I used to think I was somehow ‘above’ needing time out. That it was a badge of honour to keep going, continually moving at a frantic pace, doing it all, doing it myself. I’d smile politely when anyone suggested I consider putting the kids in care for a few hours, […]

Continue Reading

Uncharted Territory

Love comes in the form of hearty soups, home-made risotto, chocolate muffins, carrot cake and hand-picked groceries. In shopping bags filled with chocolates, wine, sticker books and hand drawn cards. It is found in the caring texts, the offers of babysitting and treatments, wordless hugs and showing up at bedtime […]

Continue Reading

Lessons from the Earth

We’ve been eating eggplant in everything this week. It still amazes me that our garden is actually yielding edible, beautiful fresh produce. At twilight, when the house is quiet and still, children all tucked snugly under covers, I wander through the abundance and marvel at the magnificence of life. Lifting […]

Continue Reading