Traditions can be big or small. Vast gatherings of white-clad pilgrims at holy shrines, or you and your best friend chatting on your sofa once a year. It doesn't matter. What is important is that regularity, that anchor in the passing of the months, that moment that has passed but that you know will come again.
Traditions are pins in the fabric of our days, attaching themselves between loose random events and dramas, holding everything together, so that we can cope with the things in between, because we know that soon we will gather and walk or eat or converse or laugh or cry like we always do.
Traditions are get-togethers, rituals, food, clothes, in fact anything that you make them. They are solemn services in ancient candlelit churches and they are richly coloured tartans, they are meetings of like minds to celebrate a shared passion and they are marzipan-yellow cakes made with symbolism and an old handed-down recipe.
Traditions might have been going on for centuries, or started by you not so long ago. The value in a tradition is not in the size or age, but in the feeling it gives you. That comforting sense of reassurance, or that renewal of energy and enthusiasm and determination that connecting with others can bestow. On the face of it, it might seem simple, but each and every tradition we allow into our lives builds and shapes our history, however slightly, and gives us regular rituals and moments to look forward to.
Traditions are something I've added to my life, in small and simple measure, as the children have grown. They've crept into our lives while we weren't noticing, and now they are things that form the stable framework of our family life. One of my favourites is our annual Boxing Day or New Year's Day visit to the beach. It doesn't have to be Boxing Day or New Year's Day, but any one of those post-Christmas days when we just need to be outside in miles of space and fresh air. We park the car at one end of sea front, and walk with a football or two all along the sand. We run, we chase, we kick the balls and I always take photos to remember a happy moment. It's nothing grand or complicated, but it's something we love to do and something we always look forward to.
The light here is always at its loveliest in the short days of December. As the sun gets as low and far away as it can, the beautiful greys and muted blues of the sea and sky form the most wonderful backdrop.
Sometimes the sun touches the edges of the clouds and turns little faces golden. At that moment, life is utterly perfect. Time together, with the people I love most, free, blessed, happy.
When I look back at these days throughout the year it's with a smile. I see how big my little people are getting, how small and sweet they used to be. I remember the year one of them wasn't too well, the year it rained so hard the littlest boy had to be carried and we were soaked to our underwear, the year we laughed so much we fell over.
I treasure the pictures and the memories, and I look forward to the next time we'll go. And I wonder if one day my children will take their children to the beach after Christmas and start a family tradition of their own.
Do you have a tradition that you've started? Something that brings comfort or happiness or ritual to your life? I'd love to hear, if you'd like to share.
To visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts just click on the links below:
Sandra at Cherry Heart Gillian at Tales from a Happy House
Annie at Knitsofacto Jennifer at Thistlebear
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways."