I was prompted to think of what I was grateful for in the horrendous year of 2020, by the Calm app that I listen to on my phone every night with one ear bud stuck in my ear. In the early morning hours I listened to a short meditation, and I was a bit shocked that I dug my heels in at the suggestion that there would be something that I would be thankful for from the last year.
Our emotions were whipped around from the beginning of the Corona virus, thinking we were just going to be sheltering in place for a short 3 weeks, where my husband and I found that we were happy to be sheltering together. Then the fierce California fires closed many families inside their homes because of the smoke, and many others lost their homes. We were in Tahoe, however, and smelled smoke for about two weeks and fretted that we could be next, since we live in a forest……but no. We continued to work outside in the garden, keeping a mask in our pocket in case anyone stopped to talk, but so grateful that we had been spared the worst.
We watched as George Floyd was brutally killed and the Black Lives Matter movement began on TV, and were sorry to hear that our half-Jamaican grandchildren had to learn about growing up in times such as these, but thankful that they have such smart and savvy parents to raise them.
We turn on the news each day to check on the antics of our commander-in-chief, as he causes more problems as he’s on the way out the door. Everyone’s been looking forward to January 1st, the beginning of a new year, but we pray every morning for a peaceful transition on January 20th, and find ourselves looking forward to giving thanks for a peaceful change.
Not being able to get together with family has been hard. We went through the holidays by FaceTiming friends and family, and arranging Zoom calls. It’s wonderful to not just hear a person’s voice, but to see the expressions on their faces. Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting by Zoom, the new-found relatives that I have in Ireland and England. I’m quite thankful for that, since with all the travel restrictions, I doubt that we’ll be flying back any time soon.
Until just the other day, we were comforted by the fact that in our “trailerhood”, in Palm Springs, no one had contracted the virus, but now, one man came back from visiting in Northern California and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance because of Covid. I’m thankful for the folks in our park that grabbed the bull by the horns last March and organized a by-weekly food giveaway, where temps were taken and masks were required, so we wouldn’t have to go to the store as much, and they assigned block captains to each area to check up on their neighbors.
Speaking of going to the grocery store, three cheers for the checkers and stockers who keep us supplied, at a risk to themselves. We’ve had to figure out new ways of going there. We remind each other to put on a mask as we get out of the car, sometimes having to walk back to get one. I figured out now, how to open up a plastic vegetable bag without licking my fingers first. Go to one of the veggies that have been sprayed with water, and wet your finger, rather than sticking your finger up under your mask. It’s a small thing, but I’m thankful to the fellow shopper that showed me how to do it.
We’re blessed in both of the places where we live, to be able to go outside to appreciate nature. Here in Palm Springs, we have a vegetable garden, where we find ourselves planting our tomatoes in November, and we’ll be picking our chard and kale to have with dinner tonight. On the patio, I focus on feeding the most appreciative finches, sparrows, vireos, warblers, and hummers. They’re thankful for me, and I for them. Today I feel as if we’re living in an aviary, as they chirp loudly, and then suddenly it comes to an abrupt halt, as if they’re being led by a conductor.
So, I guess it wasn’t so hard to think of things to be grateful for after all. Still I’m happy to start the New Year. It’s always a special day to me, of new starts and the proverbial resolutions. Oh-oh. that’ll have to be another list.