Sunday

68. Cyprus Christening


I'm not a maternal kind of person. I'd have puppies like a shot but I've never had a child of my own.

Lion has two grown-up children, Chris and Karen. Their mother died when they were in their teens (I can only imagine the horror of that) and we have a good relationship in a peaceful, slightly distant kind of way. Neither Lion nor I come from cuddly got-to-keep-in-contact families but the bond is still there.

When I told my brother about the diagnosis, he—the hotshot international lawyer who I see about twice a year and who had, just a moment before, been slightly testy at my insistence on talking with him on the phone—said 'shall I come? Shall I come now?' He was just about to go into a high-pressure meeting 200 miles away at the time but all the veneer just falls off at the vital moment.

But Tim is our son ... and Ariadne is our grand daughter. Not a speck of blood contact but Tim's face when he saw us and his open arms to embrace us was what it must be like to have 'real' children.  And Natasha, his wife, acknowledges us as parents/grandparents as well. Tim's blood mother wasn't there—I didn't know if she would be and was quite prepared to take a back seat if necessary. His father, as mentioned previously, was murdered in 2006. They had been divorced since Tim was two years old.

The Christening, in the tiny but beautiful St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral (which doubles as church for several other denominations nowadays too which I think is a very good idea), was short and lovely. Just the Baptism with the minister explaining to the agnostics what was going on, including the fact that the font is by the church door as it is welcoming the child into the community.

The ceremony included the traditional 'renounce the devil' aspects which modern people find so hard. Again, for the mystic, it's fairly simple; it's about dealing with the demons of the psyche inside so that you can be a clear channel for the spiritual guidance of your Godchild. Ariadne's Godparents are young and I don't know what level of faith they have but it was interesting that Tim came up to me afterwards and said, 'When I was a child I would go and hide in one of the dog kennels (his mum is a breeder) and phone my Dad in the dark to ask him all sorts of philosophical questions. I am so happy that Ariadne will be able to do that with you.'

The other significance, for me, was that this Baptism—the recognising of a new life in the world and in the Christ consciousness—was on my birthday. Three hundred and sixty two days after I found the first lump. It does seem like a rebirth; a new responsibility and a new start. This day was a day to be born again.

I don't usually write about the signs and portents and all that that I get but I'll risk it this time. I went up to the altar after the ceremony while photos were being taken and prayed for everyone there and for the church and all who come to it. And I asked that I might live until Ariadne's 21st birthday and be a source of spiritual guidance to her should she ask for, and need it.

Very clearly, I got '25 years.' 

Thank God for waterproof mascara.




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1 comment:

Nixie James-Scott said...

Beautiful Maggy; to be read both ways! Here's to reading the blog for your visit to her 25th birthday bash. Blessings, Nixie