I hope however you celebrated your long Easter weekend that it was blessed and special. Now the celebrations of the weekend have ended, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the moments of rest. If long weekends can teach us anything it is that the richness of time spent with family is so treasured and the beauty of gathering is powerful.

I spent my weekend at our farm with family members gathering at different times throughout the weekend. From the littlest grandchild and her first Easter to Robs 90+ year old mum, the annual egg hunt carried that all so recognisable echo of giggles and laughter that everyone brings.

Time with loved ones is precious, and it is these moments where we stop that we finally can exhale from our busy lives and schedules.

We were able to reflect together as a family on the true nature of Easter and sit in the moments of grace given to us. We gathered around the table, with dear friends and shared stories and sat in each other’s journeys of faith.

How do we keep the glow of Easter from becoming a distant memory of celebrating together as the weather gets colder and the days shorter?

1. Keep your table set and ready.

Making time to gather takes effort but produces much fruit. When we are called upon to gather, we should not think of all the washing up or cleaning that will be the aftermath but think of the time well spent with good food, friends and maybe a fire pit or two. That coupled with the richness of conversation over that last cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and the stories of truth and vulnerability shared between sticky bites of an over-roasted marshmallow. Being ready for this is so worth it.

2. Be kind

One of my most favourite quotes comes from the author of Peter Pan, J.M Barrie. He says,

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

And that is absolutely true. The people you walk past in the street are living in a world so different from yours. Try hard to stray from judgement, it makes the heart hard and smile at others for no reason. We never know what could or is on the other side of a smile. Be kinder than necessary friends.

3. Remind each other about the small miracles

Small achievements should be celebrated. Whether that be as simple as making it out of the house this morning without any mishaps or perhaps you successfully did a shop without blowing your budget. It feels good to have small wins and someone to say ‘well done’. Celebrate one another for the big and extraordinary and the seemingly little yet extraordinary. It is a beautiful thing to be celebrated.

4. Linger in the sun a little longer.

Whatever your job entails, spend time outside. Let the air around you fill you with life and love and allow the sun to shine upon you filling you with the vitamin D that you need. After a long day in the office or wherever you are. Cherish the cooler weather that is coming, make an effort to see sunrises and sunsets and the colours. Your spirit will thank you for it.

Take these ideas and sit in them and incorporate some practices of gathering and being a part of the way you commune with self and the community around you.