Today is the start of my annual 12 day practice of yuletide, something I’ve been practicing for around 4 years now in my own ways.
I shared a blog about how our family enjoys yuletide recently here and my lovely colleague and friend Rachael, and I shared a live over on Facebook this evening about the 12 days offering our thoughts, practices and suggestions for anyone feeling that they need a routine and practice to sink into this year. You can check it out here
Today and tomorrow are possibly my most favourite parts of my practice over yule because I get to celebrate my female ancestors being close, and share in the long night and return of the sun with my family.
Family have been understandably on my mind a lot in recent weeks, especially with Christmas coming up and family being spread all over the country in various tiers and restrictions due to Covid-19.
This year is so different to last. We were travelling to Scotland with all the trials and tribulations of that journey! Cars breaking before leaving, breaking down again less than a mile from the Scottish Border and being towed on 2 separate trucks the last 100 miles to our gorgeous Lodge on the edge of Loch Lomond.
There was a closeness felt to the Scottish side of my family during yuletide last year that I’ve never felt before or after and yet as I sit here reflecting on today and mothers Night 2020, I feel that same familiar closeness and overwhelm of the Graham clans women rising to meet me at this time.
My two eldest children at 17 and 13 have been quite the chaos makers this evening, giggling with over excitement, silliness and horseplay out of no where and I know for sure my Granny and Aunt have a hand in that energy.
Their presence reminds me that best laid plans mean nothing if no one is having any fun and fun is certainly something that’s been high in the air this evening! So although I feel a somber underbelly of remembering my loved ones I am also called to remember them as they were, in all their stubbornness and tenacity rather than as a loss that I bear.
Thats the thing about loved ones in spirit. Relieved of their physicality it is not them who feel the pain of loss, but us. For they have not gone anywhere and if anything are more free to assist and support us than when physical time and space divided us.
I laughed when putting my make up on this afternoon, I heard my English Nanny’s voice ‘you are lovely as you are, no need for all that slap’ or words to that affect. Indeed she is right, the most beautiful thing you can wear on your face is contentment and a genuine smile that reaches your eyes. She reminds me to put down my troubles when they weigh on me, after all they will only cause me to shrink!
When I think back to where I was this time last year, family, my business, life. I could never have imagined the changes that would happen and the challenges we would face and overcome, but thanks to the women (and men) who came before me, I’ve managed it all with a grace I didn’t know I really had and a courageous but open heart that continues to remain full and strong despite all that’s been thrown in our direction.
The women have broad shoulders in our family for a reason and I for one am glad for them as well as glad for the ability to share those burdens with others equally broad to share the load. Because really? That’s what this turn around the wheel has taught me-
That my shoulders are only as broad as the foundations that support them and my word have those been dug deep and strong and resilient this year.
Overall what these wonderful women remind me is that there is only one way to be, and that? Is being yourself as completely as you can.
Owning your ditziness.
Owning your humour.
Owning your perceived weaknesses and turning them on their head.
Owning your beauty and kindness.
Owning your honesty.
Owning who you are.
No matter the issue, head up, shoulders back and deal with it face on. (With maybe a cup of tea and a piece of cake first)
See you tomorrow my loves, for day 2- Winter Solstice!
All my love