The year came in like a rolling tide, in pounding waves that would not subside. So much so we could not fight it or hold it back. All we could actually do in the end was to take the surest and firmest position and stand resolutely in the sinking sand beneath our feet, letting the waves pummel us over and over. Sometimes being swept under by a waves’ full force, tumbling, holding our breath until we resurfaced again, finding air and re-taking our stand.

The dawning realisation there is no boat coming to take us to a distant shore. Beyond the shore is not where we live out our lives. Our times are here in the frothing, crashing tumult of it all.

But we are not alone, we are battered for sure, but not alone. Looking down the shoreline we notice distant dots, also swaying, also bending, also enduring, but still standing. As fierce as the waves which roll in behind them.

The losses came thick and fast, 
death by a thousand tiny cuts. 
Or if by not this, 
then by the relentless sorrow 
manifest in the  lives of our friends. 

Life-changing accidents. 
Sudden death leaving 
families reeling in its wake.
IVF again.
Cancer again. 
Addiction again.
The odds stacking up against us 
seared as we are by separation 

Losses, almost such that they
defined us completely. 
Save, in the end they did not
They could not. 

For silently, out of a banished corner
crawls kindness, on her knees
inching forward into the light 
and in her shadow, 
holding tightly onto her hand for safety 
emerges a tiny but fierce creature 
we recognise 
as Hope. 

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