A week ago my relatives were on a train to us in London. The kids were eagerly anticipating their collection from the station. The fridge was waiting to be fed with wholesome food. I had put some vases by the sink to be filled with inviting blooms. My nose was considering a welcoming aroma for the oil burner. And I had booked a waltz with the vacuum cleaner.
Isn’t it remarkable how we can make even the most mundane tasks sound like poetry? In reality, any poetic sentiments I may have had towards my to-do-list, vanished as soon as I made one wrong move with the vacuum cleaner. My lower back seized up and I crashed to the floor in tears. The kids momentarily swapped excitement for concern but soon realised there was nothing they could do apart from quietly play around me.
Suffice it to say we never made it to the station. The fridge remained empty. As did the vases. And while I was contemplating my next move on the ‘dirty dance floor’, a blend of ylang ylang and sandal wood worked its very hardest to keep my emotions calm. Here I was lying with my own reality as the nimble yoga teacher scattered on the floor. I had imagined it all so perfectly perfect.
A couple of hours and a few testing moves later, the doorbell rang and was opened by the kids to a burst of absolute family joy. Suitcases landed straight from the London pavements on the carpet. The kettle was put on the hob to brew a pot of tea next to the empty vases. And before I knew it, dinner time had arrived and eight people were sitting around our very small kitchen table sharing a mezze of Indian takeaway dishes. The experience of this effortless comfort, despite the achy back, was so much better than I had dared to plan for. In the end it all turned out to be absolutely, imperfectly perfect.
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