Home is where the hearth is.

My young daughter said to me, “Dad, I like the birds, sunsets, candles and smiling people too, but I don’t get overwhelmed by them, you’re way too emotional…”

We were with friends, sitting around flickering flames in the fireplace, with a spicey drink… and the room was gently warming… I am not a fan of the fuss and festivities, but the rituals and traditions of the end-of-year midwinter season help us reform structures and foundations in our lives. They help us define our past, and shape who we are. Seasonal traditions give us a sense of comfort and belonging and enable people to reconnect with others. Christmas themes help reinforce values such as freedom, faith, integrity, hope, personal responsibility, ethics, and values. If you try and take it all on board, and juggle festive with fact, or tradition with truth, it can become too much.

Charles Dickens – Friedrich Nietzsche – John Bunyan

It will be no surprise to you that, yes, I get overwhelmed by it all – with all the stimulation, tradition, memories, energy, expectations, hopes and fears… to the point that I just hold up my hands, my thoughts, my curiosities, suspend disbelief and have to yield to the pleasures and the perils… breathe… centre… accept these things we do… #recognise

It’s these ‘things we do together’ these ‘interactions’ that make us what we are. It’s about people. The heart of the village is the people. Home us where the heart is. The tradition of warmth and a flame in the hearth… 

While the flames are still flickering, this year I hope we can remember the hearth. Where your treasure is, there is your heart(h) also. It needs regular cleansing, maintenance, fuel, space, care and attention. The heart needs to be true, especially if you’re someone who gets overwhelmed and “way too emotional…”


By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…