A January Kiss

I had something all ready to make for a shiny, happy New Year project, and then I went outside and did something else instead....

Nothing new there, except that the something else was picking up rotten apples and clearing away brown, soggy leaves - not exactly the kind of thing you spring out of bed for, and yet those two hours of raking, sweeping and clearing have been my favourite for a long time.

My book, in its proper book form, got delivered to me recently...that was a pretty damn great moment I can tell you. And yet with the inevitable stroking of the shiny new pages, and the hugging of the thing, and the tears of joy shed (yes, I'm a bit soppy), there were still the (guilt-inducingly high-class) questions:

"Will anybody read it?"

"Will they like it if they read it?"

"Will I ever write another one?"

"Will anyone ever give me another job?"

...the list goes on and on


...And then there was my daughter beginning another term at nursery, and flinging her arms around me afterwards and saying "I need to go to school AGAIN!". That was a rather fabulous moment (I can't remember ever feeling that way about school). And yet, there were the questions:

"Will things always be joyful for her?" (to which I know the answer is 'No, not always, that's life'.

"Are all the other children being kind to her?"

"Is she being kind to all the other children?"

"Am I doing enough?"


So yes, the rotten apples, which were so soft and yucky that they kept exploding in my hands, and I have come away smelling like cider...the sweeping, the slow, steady, physical act of clearing...of doing something simple and silent and alone, with no questions....That's been my favourite moment so far this year.

There are daffodils and hellebores out, and sarcococca, and snowdrops coming up...

And hey....it's getting LIGHTER!