Sunday, November 30, 2014

Deciding on December

I can hardly believe that today is the last day of November. This bleak and chilly month has passed quite quickly and so many days ended with stunning sunsets. We have a good ground cover of snow and yesterday my woods road walk on some of the trails Burton had not broken with the tractor, were challenging. As I knew it would, the road has taken on an entirely different look and feel as I make my way up to the 'park'. So as November comes to an end I look toward December. December can be difficult and the circumstances we have been given this year will not be easy, but as I think of the days and weeks ahead I am deciding how I will do December. I will take each day as the wonderful gift it is. I will fill this month with family and embrace the time I have to spend with each one. I will bring out boxes of Christmas memories and find a place to display them that will fill my heart with the feeling of home and tradition. I will look at that job as a privilege not a hardship. I will celebrate the day we were given our son Zachary 36 years ago, feeling of course the deep sadness that his life ended but be so thankful that we had him with us for twenty years. I will give gifts to the people I love, not worrying that I haven't spent enough or that I've spent too much. It is not the gift but the giving. I will cook a bit and each dish I take from the oven and set on our table I will be truly thankful for and thankful for each person that gathers around our table. Each day I will make the choice to be thankful, to be completely present and mindful of the blessings we have been given.

Monday, November 24, 2014

All Right Everyone

Do you ever find your mind so overloaded that for a few seconds you do not even know where you are headed or what you are doing? That happened to me on Friday as I drove right by the ferry landing, deep in thought, totally forgetting my purpose. My Purpose. Now that's something to reflect upon this morning. What is it I have been given to do? I have reflected before on the role of being the mother, the wife, the woman. Interesting at best, exhausting at its worst, but challenging always. I am often heard muttering 'All right everyone or OK Everybody', sometimes to no one in particular or no one at all . I even say it when I am all by myself. Crazy? Perhaps , but I like to just see it as a strategy for keeping it all together. That one simple phrase speaks loudly to what I do everyday. Some call it multi-tasking but I think it is more like multi-asking. Is everybody on my list OK? My husband, my kids, my granddaughters, my grand dogs, family , friends, myself. These last couple of weeks as I check my 'Is everyone OK' list I have checked myself first. This is crucial because as far as I can see if I'm not OK, I can't look out for anyone else. I know that is not a new theory but it is certainly something we multi askers have to remind ourselves of once in a while. I am proud of who I am and what I am to others. Even though we are given difficulties we are also given so many blessings. So as this Monday morning begins I say OK Everyone, and for right now everyone including me is OK. For that I am so thankful!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

When the Sun Sets

Friday afternoon as I came down from my woods road walk and into the open field, this stunning sunset stopped me short. I stood in awe of the fireball sunset and tried to take in its fleeting beauty. Before it disappeared I went in to get my phone and take a picture of it from an upstairs window. The brief glimpse of such beauty was a gift I received by being in the right place at the right time and by paying attention. It is the paying attention that I am most grateful for. What about when the sun sets? What gifts await us then? My first thought is rest. The night gives us rest and an opportunity to regroup. My family might say that my favourite phrase is 'I'll rally'. After the sun sets we get a chance to rally, to look at the day that just ended and look to the days to come. 'One day at a time" takes on a whole new meaning when you see someone faced with an illness that has been given a timeline. How different than sudden death, when the loved one was there when the sun went down and gone when the sun rose the next morning. On this Sunday morning I just ask for the strength to rally, to take this new day and soldier on as my wonderful military minded husband would say. I started this entry attempting to make comparisons to a sunset and life but have just managed to make myself cry. Crying is something I never make apologies for, so I will just cry a bit and then get to my day with all the hope it brings. I will fit in my woods road walk and maybe be given another beautiful sunset to reflect upon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

When the Sun Shines Through

In one of the reviews of my first book The Year Mrs. Montague Cried the reviewer made the comment " Although death and depression loom, the encouragement to live and grow yourself with words is like a big yellow sun behind all the clouds." What better thought to hold on to during the bleakness of November and just before the solemnness of Remembrance Day. This morning the sun is strong. Its rays are flooding my office and I feel a hopefulness for the day and the weeks ahead. We know they will not be easy but we also know that they just as the sun waits behind the clouds there are blessings behind the difficulties. The blessing of family, of friends and community, the blessing of purpose,and the blessing of place. I will take the gift of today's sun and let it fortify me for the bleak days ahead. I have confidence that sunny days get interspersed with the cloudy ones.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Now it is November

How upsetting and overwhelming the last few weeks have been. A soldier was run down and killed in a vengeful act . Another soldier was executed at out war memorial and parliament was invaded by a young man with intentions to do more harm. In NB we have sentenced another young man who gunned down three RCMP officers to five life sentences. He did not in his calculated act of aggression consider the harm he was causing , the suffering to the families , the community and the senseless act of taking three lives. The harm that was done of course by both of these troubled young men was to our security , our confidence , our very faith in the values we hold. We know of course how fragile all those things are and we also know we have no immunity from the terrible things that happen every day ,everywhere. Then a man I daily allowed into my home through my radio, hugely disappointed me. Again I had to come to terms with the vast difference between what we hold on to as the truth and what the truth really is. The struggle is to find a place of truth that still allows us to have enough optimism to keep us going day to day. A balance of sorts that keeps us believing that the world is a good place. How fragile that all is. How quickly life takes a turn that completely takes the rug right from under you. This month of November, this bleak month of transition to winter, will hold a huge challenge in this house. We will try to keep it a month of family, a month of doing our best to comfort and support one another, and a month for accepting the good and the bad that life gives us. The picture I included today was taken the November day that Burton's tractor arrived. The last payment for this beloved piece of equipment was taken out on Oct 31 so we can celebrate the fact that it is now paid for, which is wonderful. Now if I can just convince him that he doesn't have to rush right out and trade it for a bigger one.