The last few days in Casa McLeod have been close to perfect. We’ve spent a lot of time together, messing around, cooking, making things, eating too much, sleeping, and just relaxing. It has been lovely for all of us. So lovely in fact that there have been a few occasions where the sweetness and poignancy of the moment has brought me to tears. My little girl is growing up too fast: I want to preserve her in pickling vinegar so that she will remain as gorgeous as she is right now. Her innocent excitement at being visited by Father Christmas, and the sweet, funny things that she says quite literally made me cry with a confused mixture of happiness and sorrow. Yet again we’ve rushed through a year that we won’t get back, hardly stopping to enjoy the precious moments in our life, so these last few days have been really special in our house.
I have also become obsessed with my Christmas present from my husband which was a Kindle from Amazon. Twenty years ago my boyfriend at the time, who was studying Computer Science and idolised Apple Macintosh computers, told me that I would have to prepare myself for the day when I would read books without paper, and I remember to this day laughing heartily at him. . . well, it turns out that the Kindle, which can hold over a thousand novels and receives my favourite daily paper from the UK every morning, is rather good and has little buttons which are very satisfying to press. I’ve written an email to my old boyfriend to apologise.
We’ve not made any promises about 2012 and what we will do differently or any new year’s resolutions as yet, although I am a total sucker for all of those things, so expect a list at some point soon. In the meantime, I came across these lines from Walt Whitman today, and they’re a good enough point to start as any.
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches,
give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people,
take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families,
read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,
re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem
and have the richest fluency not only in its words
but in the silent lines of its lips and face
and between the lashes of your eyes
and in every motion and joint of your body.”
Happy New Year!