Present

I don’t know why I feel it more some days than others. Was it the rain this morning? It came regardless of the dry morning that was promised. I want to not care. To relish the touch of the drops on my face, the smell of the fresh moist air but it’s the inconvenience of it. The sodden coat dripping on the back of bathroom door, the waterproof leggings hanging from the shower fixture. It’s so inelegant. And yet, when I am in it, particularly by the harbour I am almost glad for it. For no one else is out. It is mine and mine alone. The rush of the sea, the patter of drops on my hood, that being anonymous and wrapped up, is rather divine.

Will he be there tomorrow? I am planning to wrap him some presents, take him some mince pies that I intend to make today if there is time and some chocolate and possibly some crackers if it isn’t too crazy in the supermarket in the morning. I want to take him some presents for Christmas morning. Will he still be there?

We argued. He snapped and I snapped. It was over nothing. His emotions are near the surface, as are mine. I want to take communion on Christmas Day. I want to mark it. Be with others, just for a short while. He wanted to go to an early service at his home church. This year there isn’t one. Last year, there were only five or was it six of us. Can you blame them for cancelling it? I suggest another church at 10.30. I don’t want to go then, he says. And yet, I want to go with him, arm in arm. I know it is hard for him. The thought of others. He wants, needs to keep them at bay. I will go on my own. I imagine that taste of communion wine on my lips. He may soften. We may walk out together. I need to keep open to a change in plans, always, these days. It is kinder that way. I don’t want to bully. He must do what he needs to do.

Shall we buy crackers? I ask him. I just don’t know. The spirit isn’t there. There haven’t even been carols. Something is missing but I can’t put my finger on what. Do other families do it better? I want the peace, to be sans stress.

Shall we buy crackers? Let’s wait and see, he says.