Since we started emerging from the winter gloom, a trick of the light often happens in our Dining Room whereby a beam of sunlight gets refracted through the windows and causes a concentrated beam of white light with some coloured spectrum around the edges to hover on the wall.

The children have got to know that this happens and when I came into the room the other day they were gathered excitedly in front of the wall and referring to it as their "holiday home".

I was stopped in my tracks by this and wondered whether I had been espousing any Gnostic philosophy within earshot recently (not to give the impression that this is something I frequently do but after a bottle of wine it is not unheard of).  While on the one hand this was just an imaginary game they had invented, on another level it was a brilliant description of something the Gnostics truly believed: that within us are divine sparks of light, exiled from our true home – the Realms of Light – and trapped within the immediate prison of the physical body and the wider incarceration of the material world.  In such a worldview our life’s purpose is to unearth our own divine spark and set it free through spiritual development and mystic insight; free to travel back to where we belong, in the light. 

But until we do, a splash of magical summer light on the wall may truly be a holiday home.