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A little good news, no matter what
Looking back over the past few weeks of newsletters, I begin to think that perhaps I chose the wrong time to start writing again. Much like the last two years, life has been filled with chaos – new, old, and in between. Today though, I decided that I was going to focus on the good, no matter what. In times like these, we have to tell ourselves directly and forcefully that there are still some things in the world that are OK.
In the garden
First for me is the garden. If you follow me on Instagram, Flickr, TikTok, YouTube, and everywhere else, you’ll see many photos of my garden in bloom. The garden itself might be in a bit of disarray, but the individual parts of it explode with color and bring a lift to our mood every day. Thank goodness for this. On those days when the news is a little too heavy, a little too dark, a little too much, I can spend a few minutes outdoors enjoying the natural beauty. Considering how easy it is to grow flowers and shrubs I highly recommend it to everyone in some way. If you can’t grow things yourself, some flowers from the grocery or flower market works just as well.
Sure, I often see all the work that needs to be done, a curse in one’s own garden, but there are always those bright spots that distract me from that. All said the front garden is looking quite nice and neat. We have added many plants over Covid time and started growing more food in two raised beds. There is such a pleasure being able to step out gather some basil or some parsley or some nasturtium flowers or – in Rosanne‘s case, some fresh tomatoes – and include them in your dinner that evening. It is not a lot of work but it brings a great amount of joy and pleasure.
Wildlife in the garden
Attracting wildlife to the garden is also a great pleasure. Mainly this means birds of various types including hummingbirds, Lesser goldfinches, and phoebes, but also our city squirrels, nighttime possums, and on occasion a raccoon or two. Sure they can cause a little chaos of their own, by digging up our pots and such, but the overall benefit of watching them outweighs most of it. We recently added two more birdbaths to the yard as they seem very popular. Our Cooper’s Hawks still visit quite regularly, especially as the summer temperatures start to rise. They always provide a dramatic pause in our day whenever they appear and splash around in the baths. I’ve also upgraded all the birdbaths with electric pumps so that there is the sound of moving water in the garden at all times. This is a great attraction for all types of birds and animals
One great personal event that occurred is that a very good friend did a great favor for me and, even more importantly, gave me the ability to be a great friend to someone else. Being able to pass on benefits and goodwill is always a lift for the soul. It was nice to know that I have such good friends and that I can share that friendship with others, too. Often, helping to make someone else someone else’s life easier is one of the greatest joys in your life. Seek it out at every opportunity. It helps you as much, if not more, and the person you are helping.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have started seeing a few friends here and there again as infection rates dropped. It feels a little like the gopher in this picture. We pop our head out of the small hole, look around for danger, nibble on some food, and then dash back inside. We get a little more adventurous with each excursion.
We are still being very careful and will probably still wear our masks out in public for the foreseeable future, but it is great to sit around and talk face-to-face with friends again. We will also probably start going out for errands and such again which we had started doing before Omicron showed up, but retreated to ordering delivery during that time. Rosanne has been teaching one class face-to-face while still observing COVID protocols and so far we are well. Our fingers remain crossed that that continues.
This week, Take some time to look around you and see the little lights of joy that emerge from the somewhat chaotic and gloomy night. They are still out there although they can be hard to find. You could also say, though, that these bright stars shine brighter when contrasted with the deeper darkness. Unfortunately, we often can’t have one without the other.
Be well, be aware, be safe, be happy!