Life works best when we all play our part

Carolyn Aldis

Carolyn Aldis

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THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis

So, this time of year is a crazy, tobogganing, slippery slide towards the wonderful time that is Christmas…so many presents to wrap, so much food to order, cakes to bake and just stuff to do. Everyone I see says “So, are you ready for Christmas?” and I smile and say “Nearly done!” and keep a smile fixed on my face as I think about the stash of unwrapped gifts in my wardrobe, threatening to knock anyone out if they dare to open the doors…my children have learned the hard way that this isn’t a wise thing to do.

On top of all the season’s craziness, I have also spent time this week backstage as a chaperone for the local pantomime Beauty and the Beast, as my daughter is in it. Weeks of rehearsals and preparations have finally come together for the big event. It’s my responsibility to get the girls on and off the stage at the right time, to hand out props quickly and smoothly, to keep everyone safe and to help with costumes, using copious amounts of safety pins to hold it all together.

It’s always a little manic backstage…when I performed as Sybil Fawlty at the Angles Theatre, it was the same...mayhem on a vast scale of epic, Basil Fawlty, meltdown proportions; backstage hands running back and forth, the painting of scenery right up to the opening night, lightning costume changes that left everybody hot and bothered, wigs that seemingly took a hundred kirby grips to hold them in place, digging into my scalp like a torture device and stage fright that threatened to overwhelm us all…it was great fun.

I am always amazed at how wonderful a show looks…backstage might be a whirlwind of activity, but onstage, it’s perfect, all in sync, the cast looking amazing and performing so well. As I stand in the wings, watching the beauty unfold onstage, I realise that this is very much like life…Shakespeare was right when he said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

We all have to play our part to make life a great show for ourselves and each other…the cast become like a family, working so closely together, putting their trust in each other and having a great time. The role we play alongside each other in our communities can be just as enjoyable.

Despite the busyness, I have managed to put together some food hampers to give out to families and elderly people on their own, for no other reason than I love to do it. I knocked on the door where a Latvian family live and gave them one.

The father looked at me incredulously and asked “Why?”

I told him that it’s nearly Christmas and I wanted to share God’s love with his family. He smiled and kept thanking me, shaking his head in disbelief. It’s only a little thing, but it’s a start, to build friendship with those that live around us.

Every day, there are opportunities to give, of our time, resources and care and life works best when we all play our part.