Some days stink. Some days I hang out washing and the heavens open just when I decide it will be dry and crisply fragranced enough to bring in and fold. Some days stink so bad I argue with my mum, have a little cry, pop painkillers for a pain in my shoulder that just won't go away, worry about a bill, skid on a squashed grape (no really) and generally feel as though life may just be having a little joke at my expense. It is on nights that like this one that my comfort drawer calls my name. Alison, it says, just give today up, and let tomorrow wash over you. Stop trying to squeeze a little more heartache and irritation and worry out of the day and just hang it out to dry. It's just one bad day, and there will be thousands of lovely ones and when you are bone tired it is just fine to say enough.
So take a bath and light your candles. Put K.D.Lang on the iPad and sing along to Miss Chateleine. Sing as loud as you can. Let it all out. Then wrap yourself in your weeping blanket and raid your comfort drawer. Nibble at the Truede Lavender Turkish Delight you found so cheap in T.K Maxx at the weekend. Make a pot of jasmine tea. Rub geranium oil into your feet while you read the love letters that still speak to your heart. Have some quiet time all by yourself. Write down what hurts, where it hurts, why it hurts.
Write a letter to someone you are still doing your best to forgive and then tuck it back under the scented paper lining your drawer. Don't think about it again. You have forgiven. It's on paper now, it exists. Keep the lights low, the window open so a light breeze cools down what is left of this hot day. Take out photographs of your babies, of you much younger: remember who you used to be, how life used to feel. Kiss their little button noses. Read that poem that says what you can't. Read it aloud. Pretend you wrote it: that those words came from deep inside. Wrap your arms in Mala beads and close your eyes just for a while. Press your face against that heart shaped lavender sachet and breathe lavender in and exhaustion out...