During lockdown I subscribed to an online course. The theme was ageing wisely. The main thing I learned was that I should be old enough and wise enough not to waste my money on such things! However, the question posed above was one thing that gave me pause for thought.

I have seen many answers to this question, ranging from the birthday card: “Perhaps the Hokey Cokey is what it’s all about;” through John Lennon’s “All you need is love;” to Arthur Koestler’s suggestion that it is all a cosmic accident. None of these satisfy me. Love is close but I once remember reading, “Love is not enough but it sure helps.” I think this is a more accurate rendering.

My reflections on this question led me to the answer, relationship. I taught child development for a number of years and became particularly fascinated by development in the first year of life. From the very beginning babies look longer at faces than any other patterns, the suck pause rhythm of feeding seems to exist purely to teach the “talk and listen” pattern which is essential to communication. These innate mechanisms exist to help us make and sustain relationships.

My thinking then made me wonder where I find the richest source of relationships; those that feed me and enable me to work through the difficult times. Very near the top of my list was St Martin’s.

When I came to understand what a difficult situation St Martin’s is facing financially, my reflections helped me to decide very quickly that what I wanted to do was give up something so that I could give more to St Martin’s.

I wonder what your answer is to this question? I wonder where you find the richest source?

Wendy Quill