Isn’t the word “jubilant” a brilliant one? With a meaning all of its own, yet with overtones of others: like “triumphant” – yet somehow not so bossy; like “celebration” – yet with more gravitas; like “jewel” – yet with perhaps even more sparkle. A word not used very often except, perhaps, in the few weeks around Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The Queen has always been a fixture in my life, and like when anything or anyone is always there for you, sometimes you take it, or them, for granted. While watching some Jubilee celebrations on TV, I was struck by one comment an artist made, whilst painting on the Millenium Bridge. He wanted to celebrate the Queen’s contribution to the role of women throughout the Commonwealth. I hadn’t really considered this before, but what a great role model for a woman in power – grace, constancy and determination.
To celebrate Her Majesty’s great achievements over many decades, my neighbours planned a street party, with lots of activities, which everyone nearby could get involved with – or not, as they choose. Only the weather could intervene!
During the planning of this event, what has amazed me is the “jubilant” spirit in my street. We’re the same people who don’t see much of each other usually; we all have the same personalities and skills as we did a few weeks ago when we were unconnected. But somehow this jubilant feeling has spun a thread of diamond-glinting magic between our homes and made us into a community. This same magic has been evident all around the country, in a tide of optimism.
In some ways, the street party itself became secondary to the “jubilant” spirit was created in the first place, and that somehow, we can maintain it.
How can we do that in our street? Well, perhaps in the same way as at home, in our daily lives, at work, or in the country as a whole. By remembering the good times, by remembering what we can and have achieved together, and that we are all amazing – individually, but together even more so.
We can’t have a street party every day, but we can celebrate our group successes and be jubilant a little more often.
Postscript: How it rained on the day of our street party! But we went ahead and held it anyway, just adding “Puddle Splashing” to the list of activities!