I’ve come to St Fagans Museum to write you this. I love this beautiful patchwork of woodland, old stoney cottages and open fields. Ann once told me how she too loved it here, with all it’s ancient, magical energy. That’s why I’m here. To be close to Ann who has always been a part of every word I’ve written for Cygnus Books. It feels right. In case you didn’t see the email we sent you last week, I’m very sad to tell you that Ann Napier, co-founder of Cygnus Books and my dear friend, has passed away. As a working mum, today is the first day I’ve had to myself to fully experience and accept this loss and to celebrate the memories.
When I arrived here I headed straight for an old cottage that somehow reminds me of the Napier family home. I rubbed my fingers into the rosemary bush as I walked along the garden path, aware that the fragrance of rosemary enhances memories. Sure enough one look at the fruit bushes and apple trees and my imagination took me back to those cherished moments, chatting with Ann in the sunshine about books, family, love and life. The garden looks onto a field just like any that surrounds that old cottage where Ann took me under her wing and taught me so many valuable things that I will always, always be grateful for. The chatter and laughter of tourists brings me back to the present moment but still everything reminds me of Ann (she would love the sound of those blackbirds singing!). The loving energy of friendship has a way of permeating absolutely everything – living on as a heartfelt celebration.
There is at least one person in your life who you care about with all your heart, just as they care about you. Family or friend, they inspire you. They make you laugh and they are there for you when you cry. They believe in you and you in them.
Let Them Know
Let them know when they come into your thoughts, when they make you smile, when they have taught you something and helped you grow as a person. Let them know how inspiring they are, how kind, funny, creative and beautiful. Let them know that they matter to you and how much you appreciate their presence in your life. Let them know it now because now is always the right time to show your love.
Some gentle guidance
How you do this is up to you – we all have our own way of expressing our feelings. But let me tell you about two books that inspire us to keep perspective of what really matters in life while helping us to mold our own way of celebrating that, every day. ‘Family Wisdom from the Monk that Sold His Ferrari‘ echoes the reminder to keep our hearts and our lives aligned towards family and friends and teaches us ways to authentically do that. ‘At that low moment of my life, staring death in the face, I did not think about the money I made or the car I drove or the title inscribed on my business card. My thoughts did not drift to the proﬁt our company had made or the magazine covers I had been featured on. All I could think about was my family. And how much I loved them, how much I would miss them and how deeply I regretted not devoting more time to them. Facing my mortality head on, I came to the ultimate realization: my family mattered most.’ – Robin Sharma, ‘Family Wisdom from the Monk who Sold his Ferrari‘ ‘For the Sender: Love Is (not a feeling) is all about keeping it real. Not at all about being wishy-washy with love, it’s about doing the things that count and make a difference. It’s totally engaging and I’ve taken a real liking to the honest and relatable tone the author, Alex Woodard has taken. He has a way of getting through. I was just crying my eyes out as I sang along to this emotional song he wrote for a mother who lost her son in a school shooting.
Right, I’m going to hurry off now, to give my beautiful son the hugest hug! The summer holidays have started and I’m going to live every moment to the full with him! I hope you enjoy a summer full of celebrations too.