This is the pruning period, when life can look pretty drab; the dead branches of our old habits will be lying all around us and the new leaves will not yet have begun to grow.
But for all of us, if we keep at our pruning carefully, the spring is bound to come.
There will still be gardening to do, but when we see our new ways blossoming and the good fruit we have begun to bear for others, this pruning of self-will will be a source of lasting satisfaction.
~ Eknath Easwaran
Hello! How are you? I feel like I should do an unofficial coffee chat kind of post in hopes of us getting caught up with each other. How were the holidays? Do you celebrate anything in particular, or nothing at all? Maybe you just go along for the ride, as many do, celebrating whatever your family and friends celebrate? If you had to pick one word to sum up 2019, what would it be? Maybe one word isn’t enough. How about a whole sentence? Or maybe a collection of words?
If we were having coffee or tea or hot chocolate or some other beverage, I’d be welcoming you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch where, I hope, I am settled in for a while. M and I just returned from another trip out to the Bogs (NE Ohio) where we spent time with our sons and lovely daughters-in-law, our granddaughters, and our grandsons. We were also fortunate enough to spend some time with friends on a couple of occasions.
We did so many fun things that I’m not sure where to start. We made slime, played games, took walks outside (the weather was beautiful most of the time, much warmer than usual), read books, ate a lot of good food, talked, laughed, tossed around some balls, and probably a thousand other things. Much to my disappointment, we saw very little snow. Oh, there was a dusting of the white stuff in the mountains of Pennsylvania on our way out to Ohio. Most of that was gone by the time we traveled home on Christmas Day.
One of the activities that really stood out for me was going to Miss Katie’s Playgroup on the Saturday before Christmas. It’s held in a big gym where they have gymnastics, a “ninja zone,” and tumbling. The floor is bouncy. There are tunnels and bounce-houses and trampolines and all kinds of other things to run or jump or slide down or on. I can’t remember the last time I bounced on a trampoline. Or ran around chasing a toddler at high speed. The bouncy floor made it easy (on the old joints) to run. I am pretty sure I had as much fun as the boys did. We also met up with Santa and Mrs. Claus while we were there, giving the boys a chance to talk with Santa. The Little Peanut didn’t have much to say, but Little Wookie understood perfectly well what his role was in this activity and recited his list of things he wanted for Christmas.
That same evening, we met up with Oldest Son and his family at the Akron Zoo to see the Wild Lights (holiday lights). That was as much fun as the playgroup activities. A different kind of fun that involved a lot of walking. We were well exercised by the end of the day.
The lights at the zoo were so pretty that I think I spent more time looking at them than I did looking at the animals. That’s just as well. There is something, to me, a little sad about animals in zoos. A lot of the animals were not out and about anyhow. The most beautiful of them all, a snow leopard, was awake and pacing around her enclosure. I have no photos to show you because I was busy admiring her.
All in all, it was a good trip. I did catch the Toddler Plague (the common cold). That was almost to be expected this time of year. I have been feeling pretty miserable for the past few days, and I have given myself permission to wallow in my misery for a little while by resting, taking a lot of naps, and allowing M to help me out. I’m not very good at allowing people to help me. I wonder why that is? How about you? Are you good at being on the receiving end of help? Or do you prefer to be the one helping?
During one of my periods of so-so energy yesterday, we went to the library and stocked up on some movies to watch over the weekend. When that gets old, I have plenty of reading to keep me busy while I rest and relax. Books are always on my Christmas list, and I did receive several as gifts.
The Winter Solstice is when I usually take on my new word or theme for the year. I did not do that this year. I was so busy that I didn’t have time to think or decide. I’m hoping to do that this weekend. Before the trip, I was seriously considering the word Surrender. Since returning home, I don’t know. Words arise, words fade away, and I’m thinking that I might not have a word or theme for this year. What I find most interesting about that is how okay I am with the idea of no word or theme. You might even say I am surrendering to the idea of no word for 2020.
I reckon that’s about it from me on this warm and sunny Saturday. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let’s go out to the Point for sunset this evening. I don’t know if there will be much to see. Our evenings have been cloudy lately, the sunsets gray. The clouds are not as heavy today. They are more of the high and thin variety, which could lend themselves to beautiful light and colors. Sunset is scheduled for 4:51 PM. It’s usually chillier by the water so you might want to bundle up, especially since the temperature drops pretty quickly once the sun dips behind the horizon (the low tonight is predicted to be about 39°F).
Be good, be kind, be love. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,196) Light, and the dark that makes the light stand out. 1,197) Warm and beautiful December days. 1,198) A visit with a squirrel in the cemetery today. She sat in a tree near me for a while, sunning herself. Our squirrels are not as tame as those in parks and the suburbs. Our squirrels are quite wild and shy and quick to run away. I felt honored that she was willing to stay awhile. 1,199) Hot and soothing soup. 1,200) Home. I do, of course, miss my family. But. It is nice to be back in my own comforting and familiar surroundings.