What a year this has been and I don’t think anyone will shed a tear as it comes to an end. People have been ill with a variety of ailments ranging from cancer to sepsis to Covid 19 and more. The whole world has been in chaos since last March; economies have suffered; people have suffered and patience and empathy are at an all time low. South of our border (Canada’s for those not from here), there has been political and economic chaos, racial conflict at an all time high, and personal crises beyond comprehension.
Despite all that, there have been some positive aspects to SOME of these things. Forced lockdowns, designed to help curb the spread of the covid virus, have also had the effect of forcing many people to slow down, to spend time with family, and to find innovative ways to work and enjoy leisure time more gently from home.
Many people have learned new skills or taken up new hobbies. For my husband and me, this is our first year feeding birds in the winter. We’re learning as we go along – what they like and don’t like – and it’s keeping us amused watching them. They come in shifts depending on the type of seed they prefer and whether they want to eat from a feeder, a suet block or scavenge on the ground. Some get along, others are bullies unwilling to share our offerings until they have eaten their fill.
Each is beautiful in its own way and all are entertaining with their antics.
Christmas is behind us now and most celebrated that holiday (or whatever religious or secular day was important in each household) in many different ways this year. For most, the larger gatherings with family and friends were replaced with Zoom/FaceTime/Skype greetings. Hugs didn’t happen. Still, there was joy to be found in the seasonal decorations, lights and music.
Now, as winter descends upon us our focus is on creating coziness and warmth within our homes – whether it’s a steaming up of coffee shared with someone we care about, or a pot of tea warming the cups for each person at the table.
When the cold winds of January blow across the fields, pushing against fences and trees, I hope that everyone has the chance to get inside and be warm. Snuggle with someone you love, a pet, even a blanket and a book and let yourself relax and renew. Spring will be here before you know it – I promise.
When the sun shines brightly on snow covered fields or streets, bundle up and get outside. If you breathe deeply and sigh a long sigh you’ll be amazed at how refreshed you’ll feel and how wide your smile will be.