A bit of a mixed bag for you today. Firstly thank you to all those lovely bloggers who left comments on my post about Tom's death - it helped so much to know that you all cared and also that so many of you really understood my emotions having been there yourselves. Thank you all.
We have taken the packets of cat food and half a bag of litter plus a few toys to the Cat's Protection League and gradually other things are being removed such as the stropping post, the feeding place mat and so on. We are not planning on having another cat - Tom cannot be replaced and although in our 40 plus years together we have only been without a cat twice for a couple of months here and a couple of months there we had already decided that when the time came as we knew it must we might relish the freedom to go where we like without having to make arrangements for the wellbeing of a cat, not having the problems old cats bring and not wondering if, instead we had a kitten, it might be us that die and leave it alone in the world! I am still a bit raw and teetering on the edge if you know what I mean but life is going on and I am beginning to remember Tom in happier times.
Last Sunday was a lovely mild day here - in contrast to today when it is still mild but raining - and we spent some time in the garden clearing up leaves. When I made us a cup of tea about 2.30 (we had had our lunch early for some reason) I took it outside and we sat on the bench listening to the birds singing in the wood and watching the sun behind the trees slowly sink. Pure santosha moment and one to keep in my mental memory box for later when I felt myself to be once again in the dark, sad place I seem to have been frequenting lately!
On Tuesday of last week I went to Salisbury to meet up with a friend and we enjoyed catching up on the news over a coffee here before walking into town where we wandered round the Christmas market which was very good. When it was time for something to eat we decided to make for the cathedral and have our lunch in the refectory there.
font and was struck by the juxtaposition of this beautiful modern sculpture and the ages old stones of the building in which it stands. I was aware of the thousands of people who must have stood, just as I did, all with their own problems and joys and how ephemeral we all are. When the carol finished there was a prayer and it was about remembering those who mourn, the homeless, those who are sick and so on and for some reason it really spoke to me. Then the choir sang the Twelve days of Christmas followed by the blessing and then we all sang Hark the Herald Angels sing before filing out into the chilly afternoon. There were mince pies and mulled wine on offer in the cloisters for those who wished to partake but we left taking with us that moment of pure calm and my friend suggested that we make sure we find out when next year's service begins so we can join in all of it and not just the last few minutes.
It was a real pause in Advent for me and the peace I had found in the cathedral lasted all the way home as my train sped westwards and I watched the sun sink slowly leaving behind the most beautiful sky all shades of duck egg blue, lemon and rose like a watercolour painting with the trees like cut out silhouettes dark against it here and there. Santosha again and another memory photo to be brought out in the dark times.