Happy Christmas, dear reader. How are you and how are you doing?
As usual the night before Christmas, sleeping badly in case I slept in, I was up at six o clock and looked out of my big south facing window at the clear skies. For the first time since the rare conjunction of planets was broadcast, which may, or may not have been the guiding star at the original Christmas, I could see, even with my cataracts, all those heavenly bodies,clear and bright. A plane blinked its way across the horizon.
My neighbour’s daughter came home from Switzerland but, because of the scarcity of flights, will have to leave on Boxing day morning, without seeing her mother, who, flights permitting, can only return from Russia on Boxing day night. My neighbour looked exhausted. He is a doctor doing 72 hour shifts at the hospital.
Earlier in the afternoon a community library user knocked at the door with a bunch of flowers for me. Her father, who had gone into hospital for a blood transfusion for leukaemia had caught Covid 19 in hospital and died and she was trying to do positive things.
What does it all mean?
I thought at six this morning of the first Christmas morning. Of course they didn’t know it was the first Christmas morning. It too was full of inconvenience. The Ancient Roman civilisation, built on possessions, counting your worth by what you own and slavery, in which lesser people did not have freedom but worked for nothing so rich people could have more, was in the process of doing an audit of what they owned. As there was no electronic counting then, you had to go back to where you were born to get counted. The known world was one of inequality; fear and uncertainty stalked the land.
And then there was a star and the birth of hope, though it didn’t look like a revolution at the time. At the time it looked like a great deal of inconvenience, with nobody where they wanted to be. There was a lot of bossing around by officialdom as they tried to get everyone counted.
It took four hundred years before the overthrow of the Roman Empire. Those who would change everything had to meet in secret, they had to work away in quiet.
The outcome of the revolution didn’t look all that promising either, initially. There is Saxon poetry about the sadness of the abandoned great Roman buildings.
Nevertheless, the conditions changed to something more equitable, to better chances for everyone.
Change is the only constant in the universe. It is underway.
You have to get up at six to see the new configuration of lights in the sky. It is the dawn of hope.
The OH has applied to dust off his skills with a microscope slide and has an interview early in January, the day after his X-ray to find out what’s wrong with his lungs.
You and me, in all of this, we sit tight.
Around us the universe rotates. This five minutes we spend together, with a cup of tea (I’ve just finished mine, which was a wonder, usually after an hour of writing I’m surprised to see a cold cup) are out of this world. We belong to the communications revolution, I type something in the middle of chilly England, five minutes later on the coast of Australia, or the edges of South Africa, or half an inch over on a globe, you’re reading it.
Everything will be all right in the end. It’s hard to see it now, but if you get up early enough, the signs are there. This looks like the dark of the year because we are only just past the solstice but the change has begun.
Writing early on Christmas morning, I have written from darkness into sunshine.
Happy Christmas, dear reader.