15 December 2009


I read an essay by lovely blogger Maureen on Island Roar yesterday that struck a personal chord. This memory has been lingering just below the surface of my consciousness, but I’ve been brushing it away. It is not really that convenient to dwell on it. But perhaps now is the time after all.

In 2005, my marriage, the one that had been slowly crumbling for so long, disintegrated by late summer. That autumn I was living alone and found myself spending the holidays largely by myself that year and for the next couple of years.

I took the trouble to decorate my Christmas trees and relished in the beauty of my small collection of Santas adorning the sideboard. I planned a savory menu of my holiday favorites with a dessert of gingerbread topped with whipped heavy cream. I set the table, poured a glass of wine, silently said grace, and ate my dinner alone.

I remember talking to my mom about it that first year. I was still a little numb but had enough awareness to realize the necessity of walking through the darkness of this part of my life. I needed to travel this path to locate the brightness that was already there. I just couldn’t quite see it. So in that respect, I was grateful for being alone; it was a small step toward another life.

This year has been full of joyful treasures and I am fortunate enough to share this joy with my loving partner in life. By taking the time to awaken from a state of semi-consciousness a few years ago, truthfully examine the part I played in my troubled marriage and the short-lived relationship that followed, I emerged with a renewed desire to live with intention, compassion and gratitude.

In that time of darkness, I always knew that the golden light was shining all around me, I only needed to stand up on my own two feet and walk into its loving, nourishing glow.


  1. This is so beautifully written. I think I know what kind of courage it took to prepare all those things for the holiday when you knew you would be alone. I love how you say the golden light is shining all around you. And you did walk into it's glow, didn't you? I'm so glad you have someone to share all those lovely holiday things with now!
    And thanks for the shout-out.

  2. Thank you Maureen. There was some sadness back in those days, but I was mourning for a whole lot more than just the broken marriage. I had lost so much of my identity and sense of value as a human. I'm grateful for the friends who shared their candles with me when I needed the light just to find the footpath.

  3. What a beautiful post. We all need reassurance that during our darkest times, there is hope and light on the way. In fact, it's often the dark times that enable love to follow! Thank you for the reminder.

  4. I went through something similar in the early 1990's, but didn't have the courage to go it alone. I spent Christmas Eve going to a movie with a friend from work who was also separated. I admire your strength and wisdom. It takes a lot of both to KNOW that there's sunlight at the far end of a dark tunnel.

  5. Lovely post. We never know what might be right around the corner.

  6. I love your attitude and the poignancy of this post. I am so glad you can reflect on how important this phase was and that your identity and positive outlook would only strengthen because of it.