Lately, so many things were aligned, beautiful events happened but there have also been people falling by the wayside. I didn’t kick them out. The ones that needed kicking out in the proverbial sense of the word, I removed from my life some time ago. Some people just slowly fade away or something always comes up to keep you from meeting each other. But this is not about those people. This is about some of the people who have lately found their way into my life, some of them, again, or more intensely again. Like my cousin.
But I must start yesterday afternoon. I went to the Christmas market with my daughters and my nephew. I tried to take pictures at church but this lamp lady kept switching off the lights. We had a good laugh about it, too. Our local Christmas market is small and a third of the stalls is food and drinks, then there are a lot of overpriced items that originate from a mainstream wholesaler and then there were two or three stalls with work from local artists and craftsmen. You can imagine, you can do the round in 20 minutes and seen it all.
So we had crêpes (those very thin French pancakes) and then went into the church at the market place. It’s a small, but very pretty little church. Nothing fancy, and her one claim to fame is their crib they have each year, which is quite elaborate and pretty. I took the children inside to show them, as very Catholic as it is, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus were still missing but it was still very nice.
It’s been a few decades since I left the church because I am not a religious person but spiritual. However, my grandmother was a special type of Catholic. She didn’t merely revere Mary and nuns but she also made God a loving deity. My grandmother was the one person in my childhood who gave me unconditional love and any one who knows me and knows how loving I am in personality, will know what it means when I saw, she was all that times a hundred.
She told me of a God who loved children who would never condemn a child for merely existing and who was loving, kind and understanding. You didn’t have to be perfect to be loved and when you did something wrong, you had the chance to try again and do better next time. There was never any fire and brimstone on her celestial understanding, apart, perhaps, for people like Hitler and such but never a child, especially not her grandchildren.
When my grandmother took me to church, she would always light a candle or two to speak a prayer for the souls of the dead people she loved. I asked once whether they would be thrown out of heaven and cast into hell if we didn’t light candles and pray for them, like a type of Divine rent to pay, and she said no, but she liked to be on the safe side and would ask her name saint, Elisabeth of Thuringia and Mother Mary to relay the message for her to her deceased relatives to tell them, she loved them and was thinking of them.
Not always completely logical, which religion seldom is, her motivation, however, was always love. It was the one overriding driving factor in her entire life. She helped others, she loved to abandon and she lit candles and prayed, necessary or not. So each time, I go into a church for sightseeing or a special other occasion, I always light two candles. One for her, and another for her sister, my great-aunt whom I loved dearly, too. Not to be on the safe side, as my grandmother put it but because I feel connected to her when I do so and I love candles and it feels like this has something sacred, something infinitely loving, from the memory of her heart and the love for her and her younger sister in mine.
As there was a lady at the church who constantly switched the lights on and off, together, singly, in sections, for a reason no one could determine, I told my girls and nephew about their great-grandmother. I wasn’t ashamed that tears flowed as I spoke. I told them how much she would have showered them all in love had she lived long enough to know them. And I told them that my great-aunt had Tarini, the youngest of my three children, now 12, lying in her arms for a short time still the day before she died. (If you take a closer look at the picture above, you can see the trays of tea candles in front of the crib where we lit the two candles.)
So after I had also told the children about the Pagan origins of Christmas traditions and also the fish symbol representing Christ, we left the church again and then went home. Tarini went to bed quite early and my cousin who is visiting from Berlin and is staying with my aunt, strictly speaking, she is my mum’s cousin, one of the two daughters of my grandmother’s sister, but who cares when you are close and love each other. My aunt lives in our house, too, so my cousin came down and we spent the evening talking, reminiscing about our childhood, talking about family and really, deeply bonding once again.
My cousin has always been more of a sister to me than my sister has simply because we get on better. My sister and I are different in personality and interests, so we never had much in common to bond us, no value judgement there, merely an observation. But my cousin is the one I’ve always been close to, then a time, a bit less and now it is going deeper again. Again, there never was a particular reason but it merely happened that way. Well, obviously, energies worked in this way but there had never been an argument or anything like that.
Last night, we spoke until midnight. Tears flowed, tight hugs were given over and over again and finally, there was such a deep sense of love, bonding, connection and a feeling of trust and support that we both went to bed feeling very happy. And I had not been up an hour when the doorbell rang and a lady inquired about the first floor apartment above us that is up for rent. We got to talk and she was so very nice and kind, we had quite a good chat. And then, in the middle of it, with no particular context, she suddenly told me, “I’m sorry but I just have to tell you this now, you really glow. You shine. You’re a really nice person. I’ve worked in customer service all my life already and I am quite a good judge of character. You are honest, kind and helpful and you must be an extremely loving mother.”
Obviously, this lady is an empath without being aware of it. And strangely enough, she also asked me whether I was writing about vegan food. All I had told her was that I was an author. I am a vegetarian with vegan tendencies but have not yet given up dairies and eggs. And, let’s face it, being rather overweight, I don’t look the part of a vegan dietician. I have no idea how she picked up on my wannabe vibes like that but it was a most amazing encounter.
Needless to say, she had a very warm energy and glow also and I so hope that when she contacts the estate agent who is in charge of finding the perfect tenant for the apartment above us, that the agent will choose her to move in here. I think this could be the beginning of a wonderful new friendship, actually. And I did think that already before she paid me such a lovely compliment. Thus, the only regret I have concerning anything pertaining to the last few days, is the fact that the lighting was so bad at church and I didn’t get to make any good pictures.
Strangely, as I am researching the church, this one picture I come up with where you can see the painting of Jesus above the altar.
The trumpet-blowing angels in the roof above the raised altar space, however, I couldn’t find a single photograph of. And that’s a shame because I’ve been confronted with so many angels lately, I really wanted to get a shot of this very exquisite and beautiful painting for you all. I suppose, I will have to try again next time I am in town. Alternatively, you can always organise yourself a trip to Bergisch Gladbach in West Germany to view this little jewel of neo Roman beauty and to have a coffee and a chat in one of our three pretty, quaint little cafés in the center of town with yours truly.