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  • Ashleigh Ogilvie-Lee

Blog 5 - From a Villa in Grey Lynn - Let it be.

Last Christmas, I had all six of my children with me, as well as most of their children. I worked myself to the bone to create a Christmas unlike any other, but ended up in the hospital. This year, I have simply let Christmas pass by without much effort. The boys, who have come and gone, have not been drinking, so it has been a more subdued and sensible Christmas, unlike the lively ones we've had in the past. I recall one Christmas when we returned from my sister's house in Pakiri. As we all got into the car, we realized that the newest baby had been left behind under the Christmas tree, just like baby Jesus. She didn't cry at all.

In accordance with our newfound maturity, we attended church on Christmas day. The minister, perhaps acknowledging our sobriety, felt it was time to inform us that the world is not in a good state. As a baby cried, the minister gestured to his ear, as if listening, while waving his small leather plaited bracelets in the air. He proclaimed that this little cry is actually a powerful roar for peace. He walked down the aisle, distributing little cut-out stars for us to write suggestions to God on how to bring peace on earth.

As the Minister hands out the stars, he gives us little clues about what to write, saying that the people in Ukraine and Gaza won't be having a very happy Christmas. It is really difficult to be profound in such a small space with little notice, so I dutifully write, "Dear God, please bring peace in Gaza and Ukraine." I am disappointed in my efforts, but Gus consoles me, saying that God won't be able to read my writing anyway. I imagine him tugging on his long white beard as he reads the neatly written messages, wondering how he could possibly have created such naughty children who like to play real war games instead of the pretend ones he thought (no offense, God, but foolishly) might distract us from the real sport of killing. Let's face it, though, if our Father really practices what he preaches, he will forgive those who kill his children. Again, God, no offense, but you never seem to learn that this approach to parenting hasn't been working for quite a while now... what is it now, 2024 years?

That strange period between Christmas and New Year is over, thank goodness. I have been relatively on my own. I thought I would be basking in the serenity I have been seeking ever since my first baby was born, but serenity brings its own unease. At times, I envy my sister who feeds the masses, tends to the sick, and still finds time to cook treats for me. I envy my brother-in-law, Boydie, who has no complaints about life and no wish to seek its deeper meaning. While I try to exalt in the glory of the heavens, the drudgery of existence and the exhausting nature of self-reflection override all exalted thought. My shoulders ache. I have run out of dog food and plunger coffee, and the windows are dirty. Like most people on their own, I am always debating what I should be doing with what I am actually doing. I read and swim and drink the Chivas Regal that my friend Davey gave me, while at the same time asking myself, "Should I have the neighbors around for a drink? Should I invite people to stay? Should I take the cover off the Weber I have never used and scatter bright beach towels on the lawn so I look like I'm having fun?" The truth is, I have no idea what I am doing, what I am going to do this year, or the next year, or the one after that.

I will write to God, "Dear God, is it okay to just let it be? And if not, what would you like me to do?"

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02 Ιαν

Hi dear sister the journey for each one of us is so unique as we ponder so many questions and never feel we have got anything quite right. Thanks you for your truth which we understand in our different ways. and helps us too xx

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