It's nearly over, the wonderful Christmas season. I am having trouble concentrating as I start back to work with signs of Christmas all around me. I work from home so there are the obvious distractions like the Christmas tree, left-over crackers, a too-beautiful-to-start gluten free Christmas cake and stars everywhere. Let me explain, it's simple really. I washed my Christmas tablecloths on 40 degrees instead of 30 which caused the thousands of gold stars to peel off, going everywhere when I shook out the tablecloths ready to hang them to dry. The stars are rather resistant to being hoovered up so we have them trampled throughout the house, like little reminders of dreams and hopes that have littered our lives - still beautiful to remember but no longer bright and shining. Washed out pale reminders of our past.
Back in my teens I wanted to be a missionary, but this star became a trampled thought as I was distracted by boyfriends and my desperate need to fit in with everyone else. I was a shy child, awkward with others. This was probably not my calling. I longed to write. But I didn't practise, keep it going. The star withered away. But other desires and thoughts arose - I loved being a mother and was busy and fulfilled. I looked after other people's children and hated them going back. When the children were small, my husband encouraged me to take an evening off from babies and try evening classes. I found I had a brain. This was a star I needed badly, having been convinced I was the worse dunce in the whole of my school. So then came university and training as a psychologist. And gradually, very gradually, back to writing again.
I'm waiting for my writing star to shoot upwards, but maybe it will never happen. Maybe it will glint brightly for a while, or become stronger and be joined by the resurrected missionary star as I reach others through written words.
But the best star of my youth, and of today, is the one that shone over the Christ-child and represents to me the reflection of my faith.
May your hopes, dreams and faith shine brightly at the beginning of this New Year.