For years I believed the most important date for the Christian calendar was Christmas, after all, everyone celebrates a birthday; it’s the start of something new isn’t it? A new life full of promise and excitement. But I was wrong, it is of course Easter.
It’s nothing to do with death and dying but everything to do with new beginnings; all the events that went before become the building blocks of something much bigger.
Now disregarding any religious fervour, this past week has seen disaster for some but a new start for others and both have impacted on me.
There were two house fires, one just down the road from me on the Devon/Dorset border. A house that has only recently been sold was gutted by fire. The owners were in the Far East at the time, so luckily there were no injuries. It had been on the market for a long time, I drove past it every day wondering when the ‘Sold’ sign would appear and when it did, I wondered who had bought it, what they were like and what they had planned. It was a large house with, I guessed, plenty of potential.
Their plans will undoubtedly now have to change, notwithstanding the time it’s going to take for the insurance claim to be dealt with, they will almost certainly have to start from scratch abandoning their original scheme.
The other house fire was in Beaminster; although ‘house’ is an understatement because Parnham House is a magnificent listed mansion full of unique works of art and steeped in history. I wrote an article about this fantastic property for Dorset Magazine. But putting its grandeur aside, it is also a family home, a family I know quite well from a previous life. The news reports painted a grim picture stating the outer walls were all that was left; whether they managed to save any of the artwork or family possessions I don’t know, but as with the Lyme Regis fire, there were luckily no injuries.
The Treichl family will similarly have to claim on the insurance and I can but assume Parnham will once again rise from the ashes.
Both events are devastating for the people involved but no one died and they will be able to start again and/or rebuild.
And it’s the starting again part I have been thinking about since I visited my sister on Good Friday because like me, she has moved house over the years, perhaps not as often as me (who in their right mind would move 15+ times), but it still involved the disruption of packing/unpacking and living in a rented house.
But after months of forking out dead money in rent, she decided to bite the bullet and buy somewhere. She faced similar challenges that I face and eventually decided to buy a flat that needed refurbishing. It’s not ideal, but she plans to modernise it and reap the rewards from its increased value and move back up the property ladder.
That’s when I realised that no matter what the disaster, you need to think about new beginnings; I’m not saying forget about the plans you have made, simply put them to one side and use what has gone before to build on.
We will be sending our accounts to the accountant this coming week and thence to the mortgage broker. I’m psyching myself up to hear some less than positive news but if that happens, it will be time for me to look at what is left, adapt and use that which is available.
OK it won’t be exactly what I want to begin with and I remain focussed on the house I always imagined I would have but in the meantime I will make my ideas rise from the ashes of my dreams and build on the foundations.
So it really is true, Easter is all about new beginnings.