Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Stormy anticipation

It's more or less dark now, this Christmas Eve, and I can no longer see the waves crashing over the pavement of the East Bay in Dunoon. I can, however, see the lights of our lifeline Western Ferries as a ship makes the crossing to The Other Side (we always think of it with capitals; somehow it seems to emphasise otherness...) after being off for several hours over high tide, and I can tell even without looking that the winds have eased off a bit.

 I have been fascinated for several hours now by this interactive map , of which this is a screen grab - taken just now, as the storm moves off to the north east. At the height of our cut-offness, we were, it appeared, living in the windiest part of the globe and I felt small and vulnerable stuck up here in my study looking out over the turbulent sea.

But now I can start to feel the excitement of Christmas Eve building in me as I contemplate the shock of leaving a warm house to head further up the hill to church, the thrill of the dark church and the candles, and the privilege of singing with our quartet that will open the Midnight Mass. For the past 39 years this has been my Christmas - the tension and the joy in the darkness - and only when it is over can I relax.

Kids, get that champagne on ice!

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