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Photo of Simon in August

And so this is Christmas

Newsletter: August 2018

Dear web friend

Greetings again beneath the returning blue skies; it’s high summer and the sun has got his hat on – hip, hip, hip hooray!

But with scant respect for the moment, I now trample of topicality and speak of a different season – though really I speak of love.

As a child, I used to cry when Christmas day finished; I couldn’t cope with it ending. There was something about Christmas for me; it was like no other time of year… Easter got nowhere close.

It was something about the wise men and starry Bethlehem skies, something about hope – the Christmas tree lights in the darkness, the scent of the tree, the open fire in the winter cold. These things blessed little Simon.

When I reflect now on my feelings, I think I felt loved by this season… I felt mystery and I felt love in my brutalised inscape. Perhaps the season would scoop me up and save me? ‘Poor as I am’...

The day itself never lived up to my dream, how could it? It was too full of people – full of people who couldn’t help me; and full of doing the right thing in response to these people. Unknown to me, the day itself was nothing to do with my secret Christmas; and the longing for the light and the stars and the fire and the love, experienced so deep within me, were crowded out.

And so going to bed on Christmas night, I’d be in floods of tears, yes. It wasn’t so much that the ‘fun’ was over, though perhaps I thought that at the time. But rather, I now suspect, I grieved the loss of love; the love of this season gone for another year. And with its departure, everything once again felt very cold.

You may have a season that particularly loves you. They each possess such different beauty, and each comes to bless; but one may speak to you like no other… and perhaps it’s these blue skies, who knows?

In the meantime, I’m delighted to say that my novel, The Secret Testament of Julian, is now available. As I mentioned in my last letter, it is an imagined life of the 14th century anchoress Julian of Norwich; and if you’d like to read more about it, here’s the link:

In the meantime, thank you for your companionship along the way. And I wish for you the love of the season, however and wherever it finds you.


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