As a teenager in the Madrigal and school choirs, my favourite work in performance was The Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel. I had been brought up to believe in angels, but as a fourteen year old theywere more fact than belief. By this, I mean I accepted them as biblical fact but not on faith.There was something reassuring about singing this work with its possibility of all round protection against danger.
Even today, I smile when I see white feathers as they are supposed to be a sign that an angel is watching over us. Ridiculous, when you think of how many feathers make up a duvet and pillow;and when you consider how many seagulls lurk in and around the schoolbuilding where I work, I’m well protected.So, if the day is not going well, a stray feather scattered on the doormat enables me to stop, reconfigure and move on.
So when five glass angels, and a silver angel arrived in the form of light catchers and bracelets from different friends last Christmas – after a stormy and sometimes difficult 2015 – I could only marvel at the coincidence. The light catchers turned into decorations on my Frozen tree which pre dates the film but has the same colours. Now they hang in the window. I wear the silver bracelet every day,and the other coincidence is that I bought an identical bracelet for my daughter in the same gallery in Betws y Coed. So does this make me superstitious? I have no idea. All I know is that my friends cared enough to gift me with symbols of divine protection. In the bible,angels are messengers of good will, they are bringers of good news. They forewarn and protect, and if we ignore them they will wrestle with us until we see what lies before us.
Perhaps though Angels are expressions of our better selves . There is a short story lurking somewhere here, perhaps in time for next Christmas. I have an image of a young woman and a young child hanging ornaments on a silver tree. There is a slash of red fabric in the background. They could be mother and daughter or even the same person , perhaps they are sisters.
I love my light catchers and bracelets. Itsfunny how a gift can bring more than we think.