Beyond rubies

Suddenly it’s almost upon us. The surfaces in the sitting room are filling up with cards, not as many as a few years ago as so many of us have switched to ecards or no cards at all, but enough for MasterB to sweep onto the floor with some regularity.
I have a table covered with presents, mostly ones I have to give, but some exciting packages to open and one for MasterB. A heated blanket, it’s from me, but he doesn’t know about it yet, so don’t say anything.
There’s a lot of talk about Christmas being a time of family togetherness, but I have not had a family Christmas in some years. No, that’s not a cry for sympathy. For all the blood is thicker than water stuff, I am happy, happier actually, spending the Day with friends. Yes, it is sad that my nearest in blood are not my dearest, but that’s the way it works sometimes, and I am fortunate, very fortunate with my friends. You can choose your friends they also say. Do we choose our friends? There seems to me to be some almost magical alchemy that brings us in contact with the people who become our friends.
So, no, I am not talking about Facebook where people have thousands of online friends who melt away when there is any sign of trouble. I have a few very close friends. Their support, their warmth, their friendship, (yes Octavia, Celia, Patou, I am talking about you, as well as a couple of others who don’t read this page) is beyond value. There are others who read this page who I have never met, people like Pix and Pat, who have become very dear to me. Something in the ether has crackled and connected us.
So this Christmas, especially those of you who spend it in the bosom of your families, raise a glass or whatever it is you do, to that other family in your life, the family of friends who by some miracle of chance you have met and love. They are beyond rubies.
Merry Christmas.

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8 thoughts on “Beyond rubies

  1. Very true, Isobel – I feel little short of blessed that there are a dozen or more friends I’ve known for nearly 50 years and who are still very much part of my life. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog so much over the year and, for that, many thanks!
    I hope you (and Master B) have the Christmas of your dreams and a New Year full of surprise and satisfaction. Here’s raising a glass to both of you!

    • ThNsk Graham. I am hoping to see Russellin the next few weeks. He is the artist in residence at the Watts Gallery in Compton for the next couple of months. I am bursting with pride,
      Have a great Christmas, and thank-you for reading my page.

  2. May we raise a glass with you in toasting the Other Christmas? To engage in marveling at the deepness of connection, the pensive thoughts that crop up at year’s end and the prehistoric wonder of the sun coming back!

    It is a privilege and pleasure to share in the community, online or in person, you have created. And a special shout out to MasterB who knows not how integral he is to that community.

    • You have my full permission! For all we scorn aspects of social media, and it’s true it has a great deal to answer for, it has the power to bring people together and build solid friendships. Quite amazing.

  3. Wonderful message, Isobel. I feel so fortunate to have family that act as friends and friends who act as family. What I am very aware of in this season of the calendar and my life is that death is shrinking my circle of family/friends at the same time that new babies are being born and new friends are being made. I am also aware that, with age, I am wanting to hold those who enrich my life very close and let those who don’t fade into the background. I think that this is really close to what you expressed in this post. My heart is sending you and your friends wishes for time together full of love and joy.

    • Thanks Pat. I am lucky in that I come from a big family of cousins and second cousins and good friends among them. However, close by are Celia and Octavia who play a fantastically important part in my life. I have known Octavia for around thirty years, and Celia for around six. I can’ imagine life without them!

  4. Yes, I find that I have friends in both my internet life and ” in person” friends that are much more supportive and caring than my family members. I have friends I have met, mostly through blogging, that are near and dear to me and Isobel you certainly are near and dear to me. We have clicked glasses with you over Pet Remembrance Day across the pond and your name is mentioned often in our conversations. When we have wine on Christmas day we will clink glasses to you and wish you a Very Merry Christmas and send MasterB scritches! We do that on days that aren’t even holidays… 🙂 Love the title of this post.

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