Not just because of the time of year poignant with memories and expectation, triggered by twinkling lights and cold dark nights, but so much has happened too that has reminded me of who I have been and who I am now.
Just over a week ago I gave a day of lectures on addiction at my old school where I was bullied and it all began. That really was a day of reckoning as I went back to my painful teenage years and finally perhaps collected Mandy as I spoke truthfully and with compassion about her journey. The school has changed so much and I was grateful for the care and interest I received that day. Maybe too the sad death of the great Nelson Mandela, reminding me of the urgent anti-apartheid marches of my youth and cold nights spent on the pavement outside the South African embassy stirred memories deep within of youthful passion and dreams of revolution. What a wonderful and exceptional man reminding us all of the power of forgiveness and peace… and perhaps its because I had an accident on Thursday, hitting black ice and writing my car off. My first ever car accident and what they say is strangely true as time slowed to a surreal pace where I could place my hand on my son’s leg, and reassure him that we were skidding on ice and we’d be ok. We are, thankfully, though the car is not. The following day heralded my mother’s 80th birthday, and we spent an evening indulging in nostalgia prompted by old photographs and family stories. Not once that night did she say ‘don’t worry about me!’ as she uncharacteristically welcomed the congratulations and spoiling that she was due.
And so I sit here on a Sunday night, my family asleep in their beds and me poised for another week of doing what I love, feeling so very grateful for the simple truth of the promises of recovery : that I can indeed be present and grateful for every moment of my life that I choose to be (until my train is late again that is, and I am stuck outside London Bridge once more, listening to the apologetic excuses from British Rail as the day ticks on..tick-tock..… but yes, that’s pure projection…they might indeed surprise me yet!)