We spent last weekend in a beautiful place with good company and wonderful weather. From our campsite the views were stunning and the sunsets were spectacular. I was completely awestruck by this beauty after a long winter of lockdown. I even volunteered to do the late night dog walking just to see the last glow in the sky.

My heart was full as I watched my kids bodyboard in the sea with friends and my goddaughter play in the sand with my four year old. The kids played games with their grandparents – a glimmer of hope for more time spent together in the months ahead. We laughed hard at Timothy’s interactions with some cow friends in the fields next door. We listened for the sound of a cuckoo.

Of course, family life is not perfect! Despite the idyllic setting, spending time together in a small space had it’s moments when patience was tested and cross words spoken!

Getting away to beautiful places as a family is so important to us. The break from the normal demands of life allows moments of peace and contentment. Once the initial exhaustion has passed it often allows us to dream and imagine again. I’m yearning to be back in that beautiful place as I type. However, in those places there are also times, sometimes flitting or momentary, when my heart and my mind also register the reality of what we’ve been through as a family, what we’ve all been through as human beings in this past year – the uncertainty, the worry, the aimlessness, the unsettledness and fear. The joy, beauty, peace and awe sit alongside the pain and the tears.

Life at the moment is about the both/and. Knowing deep joy alongside the tears.

Uncertain and sure
Peaceful and worried
Disappointed and Satisfied
Hopeful and aimless
Yearning and full
Awestruck and underwhelmed
Held and alone
Content and unsettled
Numb and emotional
Dreaming and settling
Flat and exhilarated
Safe and afraid
Joy-filled and tearful
Hurting and healing

I can’t help but think that we need to experience both because that’s when the healing will come.

Leave a Comment