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Happy Little Things

I apologize for my lack of attention to you, dear blog. You see, I’ve been focused on so many other things that you have been neglected. You were not forgotten, however. I’ve had pangs of guilt for ignoring you, and with those pangs of guilt, the concern that it might be a permanent estrangement. My lack entirely, mostly because I simply had no ideas. The well had run dry.

Dear blog, I’ve not been idle. In late summer, there was not only cherry harvest, there was the garden that provided multiple bushels of produce to process. There was the total revision of the sequel to my first novel. There was time with the grandchildren, and a trip to the UP, walks in the woods, and time on the water. There was the daily distractions of the VIRUS and politics and negotiating the drama of family disagreements. In October, it was threats from a mentally ill neighbor at our Florida condo, caught on our security camera, and having to deal with authorities over it.

Yet there you were, waiting for me to gather my words in time. I’m here, now, and thinking that during our present upheaval finding little things of pleasure has gained utmost importance for most of us-simple things like the first sip of fresh coffee in the morning, the feel of a fresh breeze on my face, or having a good night’s sleep. I think of my grandchildren, who bring me inexpressible joy and pride. Of my adult children and their spouses who are dear and precious beyond words. Of my steady husband who encourages me in my writing and listens to me read aloud when I need feedback. God’s goodness is expressed in many ways, and I am in awe. What a fortunate woman I am!

Dear blog, I’ve heard so many people talk about refocusing on what is important this year, especially relationships. Nothing matters more than being with loved ones and friends, especially when we cannot. We long for hugs and carefree conversations. The need to connect can only be denied so long before a person is willing to risk contagion. This is what the authorities have failed to understand. This is why they themselves disregard their edicts and are caught in hypocrisy. I wish they would apply the same leniency they give themselves to the rest of us, or, at least understanding instead of fines and threats. I know we need to be responsible. We are also—human.

The holiday season is upon us. We are faced with a multitude of choices all beneath the cloud of what’s happened in 2020. Maybe this will make us less frivolous in our purchases and how we spend the hours on December 25, 31 and January 1. Or, perhaps it will make us want to cast all caution aside and revel in days of celebration. The choices we make reveal much about our character.

What are the little things that bring you a smile or a moment of joy? They vary according to our tastes and upbringing, but for most of us of sound character I have to believe it is in giving and receiving love. If I could reach out and give each of you a hug, I would do so in a heartbeat. For now, I’ll leave you with the encouragement that we will eventually get back to life as we know it. I hope when that time comes, we won’t forget the little things that mean so much right now.

Dear Blog, let 2021 be a better year. Let people stop being so mean to one another, and listen instead of judge. Let us think about others, and reach out in kindness. Let us set aside the things that tear us apart, and focus on the nuggets of good in one another. This is my wish. This is my prayer.

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