December was long and dark. I lost myself in its timeless, sickly days, shrinking into my head where the voices of catastrophe are loud and dominant.

Each day as the sun sets my hope goes down with it. I light the fire and blow hard on the embers until they catch. Banishing the darkness with flames, finding comfort in its crackle.

 “I don’t even look forward to a cup of tea, even my tea joy is gone, ” I whisper in a tiny, despairing voice, “it sounds small, but it’s not.”

The Universe keeps sending me messages. Telling me not to worry, showing me that I am strong, that life is fragile and uncontrollable so I need to find a way to be ok with that.

Like the storm with the same name as my sister (who is gone) that found us at sea. As the rain and wind battered the boat, the lights of the port rising and falling in the dark, I sang my son to sleep under a table.

You can cope. You are strong.

And at lunch when Bart lost his breath. I watched, helpless, terrified, frozen to the spot as he flailed and gasped and ran. The restaurant door swung shut and I wondered if I would see him again.

Life is fragile. You have so much. Live gratefully.

I am listening but it’s hard to give in, to accept that you have no control over any of it. Over death, over life, over your kids and who they will become, who you might lose and when.

My first, fleeting response to this knowledge is to ask, “so what’s the point?” But I already know the answer to that question.

Life is the point, love is the point.


I need to breathe, to resolve to learn how to live courageously and abundantly in the present. That must be my new year’s resolution, for this year and the year after that and the year after that and so on, until I am not so afraid.

Until the voices of catastrophe can’t be heard over the din of trees blowing in the breeze and the crackle of bread cooling and the sound of my littlest boy laughing delightedly at his brother who loves him and people telling me they love me.