Well, here we are at the end of the strangest year in our lifetimes, and somehow we have managed to survive the long months of pandemic living.
Over the past 10 days I’ve put my paint brushes aside to focus on the frenetic activity that surrounds the holiday season, and then to quietly reflect on the year that was, and the new year ahead.
I wish I could say I was bursting with optimism, but my naive belief that we would emerge a kinder, gentler world died somewhere around month 3.
At this point I could easily go off on a rant but quite frankly I just don’t have the energy for it. I had to take an ailing Theo to the vet this morning, which means I didn’t sleep much last night in anticipation of Drama Boy’s melodramatics. I’m not sure which one of us is more traumatized by these vet visits.
After a multitude of tests, Drama Boy is back home again. Nothing obvious jumped out, so now we wait until the results are analyzed in greater detail.
December started off with one of my weekly hikes with Younger Son. Walks around the neighbourhood just don’t give me the same sense of peaceful calm and core happiness that ‘forest bathing’ provides … plus our quiet, reflective personalities pair well together in the stillness of a forest trail.
Unfortunately that came to an abrupt end when Misha was suddenly sent into quarantine after the Covid app announced he had been exposed to the virus – we’re assuming on public transit. Thankfully he emerged 2 weeks later, just in time for Christmas, with a negative Covid test and no symptoms.
I celebrated the Winter Solstice with my first candle ceremony to welcome the gradual return of longer days of sunlight ahead. Over the past year, I’ve discovered that the small things need to be celebrated … and that includes lighting small flames to shout against the darkness.
For Christmas, we decided to gather our small family unit to celebrate together … in spite of government urging not to.
It was a subdued affair with no gifts exchanged, but instead focusing on what really mattered – time together with each other. We’ve been in lockdown for the past 5 weeks, with another 4 weeks ahead of us. This little bit of rebelliousness felt good.
I think we would all agree that the highlight was a walk on Christmas morning. It had snowed overnight and the trail was a magical place.
The count down has now begun on closing out this most unusual – and unwelcome – of years. We all have wishes that the new year is kinder and brings us back closer to some level of normalcy. Personally, I don’t see that happening for many more months, but we can hope.
Happy New Year everyone! Fasten your seatbelts for another trip around the sun. Perhaps the new year won’t be quite so bumpy.