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As Christmas fades
Singing Agathe
I have always been one for traditions, and my family has happily obliged, with an abundance of annual revelries, toasts and gatherings. Christmas is no different, being one of the first times of the year that I can recall a 'way it is supposed to be'. Things have changed, as they always must, and I have accepted the new traditions as a sign of growth. My husband, the growing family, the way we children are now the adults.

But this year and last, I find something else changing, and it does not feel driven by blatant external forces. The candlelight is a little bit dimmer, though no less comforting. The patterns of speech are overly familiar, and I see more conflict behind the eyes than before. The season is a mad dash to be over, like one last gasp of air, instead of the way it circled itself for days to rest. The pessimist in me bemoans that it is simply my own age tiring me out, a world-weariness not deserved by one so afraid of the landscape outside my own doors. The optimist in me celebrates my epiphany - that this is just another transformation of time, and one that I am aware enough now to notice.

I seem to sing Agathe so much when it comes to winter and her hallowed traditions. Is it any wonder I took her to my last name?