This is Áras An Uachtaráin (House of the President) in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The Christmas lights this year are dedicated to all those who won’t make it home. The centrepiece is a stream of light from a lamp in a first floor window, spreading out across the grounds and reaching out to the Irish diaspora who cannot be with their families this Christmas.
We all have much to reflect upon:
I ache for the family members and friends whose funerals I couldn’t attend.
I ache for mum in her nursing home, whose hand I haven’t held since February.
I ache for the 5 weddings I was so looking forward to and for those 10 lovely young people whose hearts were broken.
I ache for family and friends who can’t get home this week and for the terrible disappointment their loved ones are going through without them.
I ache for those missed travel opportunities – I wonder where I might have gone….
I smile at all the amazing discoveries I’ve made in my immediate locality.
I smile at my daily step count.
I smile at all the coffee meetings with friends in parks and other public spaces.
I smile at my wardrobe contents and shoe shelf as I pull on the same few sweatpants, hoodies and runners day after day after day..
I smile at the Wanderlust Magazine in the mailbox every month.
I smile at my wonderful ‘to-do’ list from the first lockdown at which I’ve made little or no progress!!
Despite everything, I’m feeling oddly blessed.
And so, fellow bloggers, supporters, family and friends, I wish you all the joys of this very strange Christmas and something good for 2021.
NOLLAIG SHONA DAOIBH GO LÉIR!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
XXX MARIE XXX
City Hall, Dublin, Christmas 2020.