Whether you have just celebrated the Winter Solstice or are about to mark the festival of Christmas I hope your marking of this, the darkest part of the year but the gradual returning of light, warms your heart to its cockles.
I have to say that breaking a wrist is never a good idea and doing so in early December even worse. I always give home-made gifts at Christmas and the ones I had planned to make and post to family, all living over the border in England, will have to wait until I have the use of both hands again. Local friends will fare better since I can give gifts of food which are too heavy to post but were made a while ago. Christmas cards for distant friends were another casualty. I meant to buy a few in one of the charity shops but with shopping having to be combined with essential trips like visits to the fracture clinic, supermarkets were the best option and time ran out so I gave up and just hope people will understand.
The upside of all this has been the kindness and generosity of friends and neighbours. I have been reminded that I belong to a series of communities which have kept me ‘cwtched in’ and safe. Jeni and Rob who have a smallholding a couple of miles away not only got me to A&E when I fell but have taken me to all the clinic appointments and will pick me up and take me to their home for Christmas dinner. I was intending to drive to Drefach Felindre to collect some beef I had arranged to buy from Phil and Michelle when they had a bull slaughtered but they borrowed a car from another friend so they could deliver it to me. Amy who lives over the road took me into Cardigan so I could change my library books and to the audiology clinic to get my faulty hearing aid fixed. I was supposed to be meeting Martin and Gill for lunch out in Cardigan where they both live, but when I told them what had happened they changed plans and took me to Narberth instead, bought me lunch and then we pottered around the antique shops together. If you happen to find yourself in Narberth, Plum Vanilla serves amazing food!
John and Victoria, who make and sell exquisite jewellery from their home near Llechryd, came bringing last minute shopping and armed with secateurs and a staple gun to put my decorations up for me. And Charlie, who manages the farm up the hill has been to sweep the chimney of the woodburner so I can light it safely. Loads of other people have offered help too and when Amy goes away next month to visit family they may get a call! I shall be very glad to get back to normal and able to drive again but at least I know that help is available when I need it.
I have been lucky enough to benefit from love, kindness and generosity. So next year I will be doing my best to increase them – not to ‘pay back’, ‘pass it on’ or because ‘what goes around comes around’ but because there can never be enough of those things in the world. They make life worth living. I hope that you, too, feel valued and cared for and wish you all Nadolig Llawen.