Blogging the stories of our family life on a yoga retreat in the magical village and valleys of Amieira, Central Portugal. Everyday we are tending this beautiful land and its stone dwellings in our journey towards self sufficiency. Moses is the Portuguese name of this place, meaning many mill stones. And, providently, is also the name of our beloved golden retriever, without whom, we'd never have found it. We love you Moses.
So here it is once again the approach of a Merry Christmas. Corrie Bailey Ray is a playing crooning to us about love and loss and achingly sweet vibes are all over the place. Effie Starlight and Memphis are cooking up a Christmas cake, punctuated with the occasional, "Von, where is the..." from Memphis and the reassuring "Don´t worry Papi I´ll find it" from our gorgeous little Starlight. She is all over the show making sure that Daddy stays calm, Josh gets the chance to lick the spoon and Mummy doesn't spontaneously combust due to proximity to a computer. Josh is up in his sleeping loft curtain drawn working away at something or the other, we only know he is there from the slight snivel of his persistent winter cold, poor love. As for me, at 3pm in the afternoon I am sitting in my pjs writing a blog.
Lazy, lazy, I hear you Papops, but not so, just badly dressed. Instead of the usual Christmas rush for pressents I have been out and about since 7am alternately loving and wringing my hands at the sudden rush of water come to join us for Christmas. Last night the winds holwed, the trees rocked, swayed, bent in defiance of the force. I have lost count of the number of waterfalls that have opened up on the land. Everywhere the bedrock is bleeding water and the land is just saturated with the bounty.
I personally couldn´t wait for the morning to see what all the fuss was about and what a vision. This is my time of year, green green green. The river is full to its banks and when you open up the door of our little home the sound of the water falling takes your breath away. So at 7:30am Moses, Me and Queenie ("Tom and Jerry"´s dog) went awalking. Dressed in boots, pjs and my favourite country girl cardigan I was transfixed as the early morning fog infused with pink slowly dispersed shedding the clinging winter night to reveal the source of the tumultuous, racket outside our house, water. A wet and green and bountiful Christmas.
This is our first Christmas alone just the six of us including Moses and Angel. So what is it that I wish for this Christmas? Standing on a large boulder, normally surrounded by stone, but today surrounded by water, I took my cue from the river. This Christmas I want to love them with a ferociousness capable of washing away any desire for anything else other than being right here where we are together. I wish to empty out myself for my family this Christmas. To exhaust myself with loving them. To compete so to speak as to who can be the most loving, the most generous the most patient the most kind. A competition that no one can win but all can enjoy. I have had some really good Christmasses and wherever we were or with who ever they have all had the same underlying desire the desire to give above and beyond your capacity. To exhaust yourself with loving.
So this is what I wish for for us this Christmas and for you if you have the chance to read this blog. That for one day that we give to what ever people we find ourselves with. That for one day we put aside any grieviences or guilts or shames or angers or frustrations with those people and decide to just love unconditionally without bounds or recall. Yes there may be a big mess to clear up after. Yes there will be issues and struggles to face in the future. Yes we will have to do something about the little stream flowing through our house. All of that can wait. I hope to give myself to the people I am with and that they will be willing to give themselves and that I will gladly receive whatever comes.
Last week Memphis said to me that while going into a teachers meeting one of the office guys just started singin "Last Christmas". You know the words, yeah you know Wham well, don´t be ashamed. Let me refresh your mind if its shy to own up. It goes like this, "Last Christmas I gave you my heart and the very next day you gave it away. This year to save me from tears I´ll give it to someone special." Well Ellie has been singing this little limerick over and over again. While walking I found myself singing it. Ah the blissful shameless freedom of aloneness. But seriously, this is what I think. This Christmas give your heart, press pause on all the shit, on tommorrow and just give it away this Christmas. Each person you are with is special because you are with them, so give give give. The next day or the next person might come, hurt may come. Struggle may come but don´t worry on that at Christmas. Turn to the light and shine, stubbornly despite all the odds.
Go ahead flow, gurgle, run, stream down the mountainside. Exhaust yourself after all it is Christmas. Have a very loving Christmas.