A Valentine in the Time of Corona

So it’s 14 February 2021. That Hallmarked calendar day of Cupid…

And it’s 8 years since I published a book about the multi-faceted feelings and phenomena of love.

At that point in my life I’d been single for a year. The year before THAT I’d manifested a dream man, along with a whirlwind romance, marriage proposal and engagement ring.

But then the man changed his mind and that was that. Cupid dropped his quiver of arrows and shot a canon ball through my heart instead…

So I had to hurt and lick my wounds and carry on. To hide and heal and find myself.

As part of that process I felt compelled to challenge myself to be the writer I knew I had been born to be. And in thinking about how I would accomplish this, the idea to write about LOVE hit me like a thunderbolt. And not only of love like the coupledom I had lost, but in all of its’ vast and glorious complexity, weaving in and out of the multi-coloured strands of my life.

So I set out to explore love, to seek it and see it. And where ever I sought it, I found it. And as I did, I wrote it all down. It was a cathartic, joyful and expansive experience. And just like that I had written my first published book, ‘Peachey Letters.’

I can’t tell you that I’ve lived happily ever after since that time. In truth there IS no happy ending. I’ve carried on with my life. I tarried with romance again, but it was halting and shifting. And so I’ve climbed the mountains of my life, then ran down into the valleys, with family and friends, and, so often, on my own.

And I thought to myself, ‘it’s better this way. I have my OWN way, all the time.’ There will be no more heartaches or complications for me, instead I’m free, in every way, to make my own choices, without compromise. And after so many years of being this Miss, I decided, with graceful acceptance, that I couldn’t be anything other than on my own.

As I knew that love was all around and within me, I lived without regret. I didn’t need it in one romantic dimension, but to experience it in every way – whether sometimes dark and sometimes diaphanous in form.

Then COVID came and lockdown landed.

At times I felt isolated, then at others a happy hermit. And I promised myself that if someone passed through my thoughts, I’d reach out to and check in on them. In doing so I had every shade of response that can be imagined, from reconnected joy, to nonchalant indifference.

But there was an exception… One person I thought of, but wouldn’t reach out to. Someone I’d cared for in the years in between writing my book and the present day. Sadly it hadn’t worked out for us. So I could only imagine, after more years had passed, that he had moved on, would have found love. Would not want to reconnect. I was afraid of going there.

Throughout this curious time of Corona, my life continued to ebb and flow. I had tragedies, triumphs and 1000s of daily transactions.

Then one day I discovered a text I hadn’t read. It had been sent months before, but I’d only just received it, on an old device I had just happened to turn on. And it was from the very person I’d thought about, but avoided…

Then, to my surprise, after much time, many texts, walks and talks had passed, I became someone’s Valentine again, with red roses and romantic declarations.

That’s been just gorgeous. And yet, you know, it’s a day in the life, not my whole life. I feel blessed to be able to celebrate love in that way again, to add it into the mix of every conversation, realisation and transaction that goes on in my life. Because when I look for it, in every person, situation or station, all coming together in the fabric of my consciousness, love is always there.

So if you’re reading this, love could mean everything or nothing to you. You could be feeling full of it or sore for the lack of it. But know, whatever your ‘status’, that you ARE love, in so many ways: YOUR ways. You deserve love. To give and receive it. To know it is within you and around you, in everything. Red roses are truly beautiful, yet a kind word, a smile, or an act of thoughtfulness are precious acts of love beyond price, too.

And since you are all LOVE, then finally and naturally, it’s time to wish you a very Happy Valentines Day x ❤ x

Letter 19: To the Friends Who are Family

19 February 2012

Dear Friends and honorary: (take a deep breath here …) sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, uncles and aunties, etc, etc and so on …

My blood ties are few … I have a mother and a brother living, and my dear departed father provided me with a whole crowd of first cousins and through them many more seconds and thirds.  Somehow though we were out of kilter with them in family history and we stay in rare Christmas card and family funeral touch …  No children for me and my bro, no living grand parents, aunts or uncles or anything else and so that is our little Peachey family …

So there is me – ‘friend’ to a few … sometimes called sister … I always wanted a sister – ideally a twin one; there are twin girl cousins out there in the family tree; yet not me.  Not quite an only child, but spaced from my big brother by nearly 8 years and we were together in the early years, then separated through adolescence and distance and caught up with each other later in our lives, when our dad died.

So friend becomes sister, becomes honorary Auntie to babies … this role given by friendship, affection and love extended to you, as a non blood relative.  You get to love the expansion of your friend’s lives.  The title is given as a gift and in return you give gifts back … as ‘cool aunt’ your brief is to spoil those darling children rotten when you have the ways and means at your disposal … 

So you grow up and grow older, watching the babies follow in your wake, establishing the patterns of their lives … watching the changing facial features, the family characteristics – now like their mum, now like dad … grand-dad … cousin … who knows who?  The inherent fascination and dissertation of seeing the lineage reflected and altered in unique genetic combination.

And as my world is filled with new generations, so too is my mother’s.  No blood grand-babies for her, so she becomes honorary Nanna to two.  So proud I am she does this, that she is allowed to shine and show her capability for love and generosity; and when I take her round to meet my friend’s babies, they all hang round her, for she has a child like quality which pulls them in.  Straight away, the purse is open, gifts are given … I remember HER mother too giving me sixpences, and so it goes on …

In my childhood, there were aunts and uncles and they came with affection and affinity, though rarely were there parental friends around to be granted the honorary given title I have gained in abundance.  So even now, after a quarter of a century of being an Aunt, I am so surprised at how I am accepted, welcomed and you can see – loved by those who had no choice but to have me there, to have me to share.  Now they see ME, not ‘just’ Auntie, for many of them have grown out of the title now and as I am Sandra to my life long friends, so now too to them …

And else where, I am known as ‘Auntie Sandra’ to ALL the family – adults and children alike – a huge loving reminder of the affectionate part I play in their lives. 

So the single girl creates a family, gets to hug the children and give them back … then time flows on and she becomes a strange new creature of honorary familyness – a Great Aunt indeed! 

So it was that I held one baby in my arms and looked down at her and then, so little time later, it is HER son in his turn, in my arms … I hold this new born personality for hours, looking down at him, held and sated with the special milky love that comes with cradling a precious new life.  So in that room there is Mother, Grand Mother and Auntie, all quietly together, loving this new little lad. 

Then how quickly quiet turns to toddler noise and we move on and on, inexorably, pacing through life with the new comers beside us: sometimes stopping together, sometimes in step and sometimes continents apart; and I am woven into the fabric of their living, of their memories and mostly they come closer and some shy away; and shying away is allowed, since this is not necessarily unconditional love, but it IS acceptance, just like I gladly accepted the gift of them into my rounded, bonded Auntified kind of life … 

And is it coincidence this love spills over into my vocation and how much I love my clients, those whose orbits I circle in; for as I love to be cherished, I love to cherish too and to me coaching is cherishing and loving and nurturing.  Sometimes this is soft supporting love and some times shaking love, but throughout time I would tell my babies the score if that felt required; and still they love me and still we move on and where ever it is we happen to go; we all move on in love.

   Big love and hugs,

         Auntie S xxx

PS: Peachey Letters has now been published as a book, to find out more and purchase your own copies – follow this  link…