“They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” -- Jeanette Winterson, Author
We hope this letter finds you in good health and fine spirits, enjoying whatever aspects of the season’s activities you celebrate, and surviving the festive mayhem. As the end of the year races toward us at warp speed, it is a reminder to take time for family and friends who mean so much to us.
Thankfully we are both in good health, as are our families and our beloved cats Patootie and Minnie.
Our seemingly endless litany of home projects continued. We finished our bedroom, did window repairs, replaced our sinking front porch, put up a pergola on the back patio, and amidst some argy-bargy’s managed to put up a few gallery walls of our collected art. The next room for wall repairs will be done in January... at last!
But ... the pièce de résistance was our very own backyard nature adventure. In June/July we happened to see a pregnant rabbit building a nest at the base of our Manitoba maple, from the start of her digging to her final brilliant camouflage of the entrance. Once the babies were born, we were also blessed to witness -- on 3 occasions -- her feeding and grooming them. (This usually takes place overnight, so it was a real treat.) Mama was a fierce protector of her babes; we swear she didn’t sleep a wink while they were in the nest. If a crow, a squirrel, a cat or even a butterfly intruded on that area of the yard, mama rabbit would fly out of the shrubbery and be on them like a heat-seeking missile, driving them away. Once the babies began to venture out of the nest for short forays, we watched her coaching them on the ways of their world, and when they finally left the nest, we also watched two of them grooming each other in the garden. Needless to say, we were very invested in this little family. A friend even put up a large umbrella to keep the hot sun off the nest area. We had the perfect view from all the back windows of the house, and were very protective of their space.
Since late summer we have been going out more to restaurants, visiting with friends in small groupings, and are back at our physical activities and martial arts training. We now go to some concerts and plays in person, but continue with online options for others. That balancing act of living our lives and reducing our risks, at which we all have become so adept. I am not a huge fan of technology, but Zoom and Skype have been a boon, helping us remain connected with people near and far. And ... importantly, we make sure we have at least half an hour of chuckles and belly laughs each and every day, for sure in the evening, but as often as possible. It really is the best medicine.
We usually make a plea for world peace at this time of year especially -- and we still do, fervently -- but this year we are focusing our energies towards the requirement for significant and meaningful progress re: limiting & ultimately reversing climate change. If we collectively don’t get this right, nothing else will matter. Surely, together, we can heal some of this wounded planet we all call home. If we don’t get it right, there will be no universe large enough to contain our grief and rage. We will not give up hope; without hope none of us could go on. In the meantime, we endeavour to live in the moment, to find joy daily, and to celebrate and be grateful for every blessing in our lives, and for every beauty and wonder in the world ... of which there are so, so many.
We wish you and yours good health and every happiness this festive season and throughout the New Year, and the experience of wonder on a daily basis.
Joy and many blessings to you and all those you love,
Written by: J. & A.
Images: Google, Microsoft Bing.