Kavieng is quiet this Christmas. The town isn’t particularly ‘alive’ as I write. Although I did hear a Live band last night and the night before playing somewhere in the distance; sounded tremendously boring, unfortunately. Makes me think of Christmases gone by, 15 to 20 years ago. Lil home-town seemed alive then, or maybe I was just a kid. Neighbours were fun, shops were lively, social activities were at all the best corners, we even had a couple of places to rent videos! Nostalgic.
Last week I heard that a former neighbour passed away. Someone I knew but never really made time to stop and find out what was happening in his life. We just said ‘hi’ whenever we bumped into each other, nothing more than a greeting. Yet I felt really quite sad when I heard the news. I thought, why didn’t I just buy him a drink then, or stand a while longer and ask how his family was doing? Why do we always have regrets when someone’s gone, and yet when they are here, all we can manage is ‘hey’? During the same week I watched on the news as the “Sydney Siege” at a Lindt Cafe unfolded and ended in the deaths of two innocent people who probably just wanted to have coffee. How fragile life is. I wonder what the survivors are feeling. They may never be the same again.
I remember walking to work last week, thinking about my former neighbour’s unfortunate demise, when I heard a song blaring from a house in the street. I caught the lyrics, which as cliché as it seems now, summed up what I was feeling at that moment. The chorus went “don’t save it all for Christmas day, give a little love everyday…cause holidays come and go”. Perfect timing.
As I think about loved ones long gone this Christmas, including my dad, and acquaintances like my former neighbour, I cling to lyrics like this. Maybe I can’t make this town seem a little more lively this Christmas, but I think I can give a little love to people, friends and strangers alike. Is that too hard? Nay, I say.
Stop for a while. Smell the roses. Appreciate the warmth of the sunshine. Freely I have received, freely I must give. This Christmas.