It’s been a long year and this cold, dark winter started early for us here in Europe back in November. Outside the garden birds are twittering as if Spring is only round the corner; 6.30 am, still dark, and they are shrieking their heads off on the last day of the year. I watched the male blackbird triumphantly drag a very long earthworm from the grass yesterday, so relieved to see the earth had melted enough to allow him to practice his artistry once more. He walks around, taps the soil, cocks his head on one side so as to listen and then hearing something I can’t even imagine, taps his head sharply down, stabbing through the short grass and comes up with Worm! So very focussed and quite wonderful to watch.
I drove out to Sandford yesterday, or rather the sat nav took me. Going up and down the Somerset hills, past the airport, through thick fog for a mile, followed by watery sunshine over the brow of another hill, past Barrow tanks, wondering vaguely if any interesting birds were overwintering up on the other side of the steep banks, it was a quiet sort of a drive, in which I had a little time to contemplate how fast life changes and also how slowly.
I visited a sparkly new nursing facility, saw my neighbour who is staying there, getting her confidence back after her hip replacement at the age of 94. She is full of plans and focus: to get home again she has to be able to walk confidently once more. Her path is clear to her. It is always good to spend time with people however young or old they are. Other people are a great strength and joy and cherishing others is the basis of all qualities.
So my old year/new year thoughts are very simple, to do more listening with an open heart and be kind. Make that my default and it will be a good year.
If you want to write a little something here, please do, I hope to listen better and this is as good a place to do that as any. Happy New Year to you all!
The bread? A challah in the form of the sun; bread magic to help the year to turn once more.