Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve in just a day!

This is certainly not to dampen anyone's happiness so close to Christmas, but, I find myself very close to tears come this time of the year.
There is a lot of happiness around and a certain feeling of accomplishment once the presents are bought and wrapped and placed under the tree but there is always someone missing, so there is always a feeling of incompleteness as we get closer and closer to Christmas day 
I know I am not the only person in the world who has lost someone they have loved dearly. I certainly don't have to look very far to realise that and my resigned sadness is not what this post is all about either.
We all tend to over extend ourselves when it comes to Christmas...... well, at least most of us do. I only had to look around me today in the city at people rushing every which way, waiting in queues, trying to decide what to purchase for others, listening to buskers and offering donations to their music and singing in between battling more queues and more people. There were crying babies, harassed mothers and fathers and children who clearly had had enough of the day into town. There were also excited little girls in prams whose eyes lit up at the sight of Father Christmas in the Bourke Street Mall, and people sitting at tables in the streets, relishing their coffee and tea. There was even a sparrow who paid me a visit in Myer on the first floor can you believe, where I had a coffee and a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, by the escalators. He actually flew into my hair for some reason (must have thought it was a nest) but flew out again quick smart. I didn't mind though for there was more warmth in his observation of me than with others in the city.
It's amazing how there is such little eye contact with others as you walk in the alleyways and in the streets. Even on the train as I travelled into town it was eyes down as soon as you sat down as the travelling time was a time to become transfixed by mobile phones. I deliberately put my phone away and watched as others would hop on, sit down and stare at their screens the whole time until it was time to disembark. Even mothers with little children pulled out their phones and were engaged with what was on their screens rather than talk to their children about their day's expectations.
As we got closer to the city I sighted the new addition to the Docklands...the Ferris wheel that's had a faulty start in the past but began its new rotational life today.
I took a couple of photos with my trusty camera of the wheel and clearly annoyed the woman sitting opposite me who had sat looking into her magic phone the whole time until I bought my camera out. Her look of disgust was something to behold, but, as this was MY day in town I chose to ignore her and continue with my photographic observations of the city until it was time for me to disembark.

Getting off the train at Southern Cross Station and walking up Collins Street was an adventure in itself as I hadn't thought to bring an umbrella and, yes, you guessed it, of all days in the year, today had to be a rainy one.
Consequently, my 10:30 appointment saw me very damp and frizzy but, that did not deter me from sorting out something that has always had me confused. Now I think and hope I understand about something that will have a major impact in our lives in the future thanks to my appointment today.
Once that was done and dusted a quick tram ride saw me into the hustle and bustle I mentioned earlier and it was a joy to revisit those alleyways and little side streets that had become so familiar to me when I was younger and working close to the city.

Prior to nursing, I worked in a bank for a year in Flemington which is on the outskirts of the central part of the city. I would often catch a tram into town way back then and wander those beloved streets looking in the shop windows. Amazingly, there are still some of those shops still operating such as Birkenstock's (how I loved those hippy shoes back in the 70's) and it did my heart good to remember those days of old.
Well, the day eventually ended and it was time to meet my husband and return home. 
As we walked over the bridge to our car, we watched as not one but two helicopters landed on the same platform by the river within minutes of each other. How amazing they timed their landing to perfection, so close, yet far enough away without touching each other in the process!

My melancholy stems not from me and mine tonight, but more for a friend. This friend has a child who sings with a beautiful clear voice about her father and her love for him and about how he is missed.
Such anniversaries are sad and poignant and my thoughts are with that family as they support one another in their grief this evening.