So, after much trial and tumult, we finally moved in. That event was stressful enough, but it didn’t end there. Last Friday three builders came, put up scaffolding and started on the roof in the lounge. Wee girl and I arrived home to find the only room we could access was the kitchen, through the back door. The cardboard boxes were still a massive reminder that this was not home yet, but the barricade to the toilet and all of upstairs was taking it too far. We just turned heel and took refuge in a coffee shop with warmed hazelnut and chocolate brownies. A feeling began in me then – where do I go? That has lasted all this week until they finally took their leave after two o’clock yesterday. The whispered question ‘have they gone yet mummy?” got the best answer then- “Yes, it’s just us now!”
Throughout that whole period of dust, burst pipes and hammering I had one great comfort. It was small and simple but gave me what I needed. The candle has three wicks and sits in a glass jar with a gold mesh metal surround. As soon as I opened the housewarming gift I placed it on the kitchen bar and lit the three flames. I have done that at least once a day and have loved the warm scent and the flickering flames. I can’t believe how much it has meant to me this week.
There have been other little things that have brought the opposite of reassurance. I have to admit that I did not warm to the plasterer helping himself to a dozen of our cardboard boxes and turning them into a sodden mess, or taking my thirty year old Rainbow Brite mug to make himself tea. Two days in a row he used that mug, and I got to referring to him as Rainbow Brite to the others. Bright he was not. He did a good job though so I’ll let him off with it.
One lesson I have learnt is that when you are in the middle of a massive crisis, the tiny things really matter. I suppose we need to not fear the enormity of the stressful situations we or those around us encounter. We need to not let them intimidate us so much that we don’t make a seemingly small gesture. Like a ‘how are you today?’ or a hug.
Or even a candle.