2021? It’s in the bag!

In response to RDP – Reticule

The word prompt reminded me of my mother’s bags. Those tiny, beautifully beaded, soft pouches that she would carry on special occasions. I loved them. They were beautiful on the outside, but what was carried had little value … a lacy hankie (in the days before tissues), a lipstick, a mirror, some perfume.

The bag I carry is dissimilar. It is big, voluminous with life, as I know it. So I’m going to rummage through it and see what I have carried around this year.

I woke today confused about how I was feeling. Being the last day of the year, was I feeling grateful, relieved, fearful, hopeful? The prompt invigorated my spirit. The message “I got this!” came through loud and clear.

I’ll say it very simply. It’s been a year I’d never want to live through again. I have lost family and friends to the pandemic. I have lost business and watched others lose theirs. As I recovered from a severe flare up of rheumatoid arthritis and resumed nearly full time work again, I had a significant fall and ended up in hospital with concussion. Luckily no broken facial bones or teeth but the soft tissue injuries in my limbs is taking longer to heal. I asked my sister, “how can I fall face first on to concrete and not break anything?”. She responded, “because you fell into the arms of angels”. I believe her.

As I scrolled through my photos I realised I had taken only one or two pictures with my camera. I had lost strength in my hands and could not lift it nor could I press the button. The pictures I have taken this year have been mostly with my phone and most of them have been from the air. That in itself, is my story this year.

There is nothing more West Australian to me than a scene of beach and bush. I love the paradox of this type of landscape … the isolation and yet, both I know, are teeming with life.

In Carnarvon, where a community crisis of a little girl lost (and found), brought home to me how a small town can have a big heart. The mighty Gascoyne River will flow again and life will go on.

My backward glance at Carnarvon is always one of joy. It shimmers in simplicity of all that is country.

I was thrilled to visit Exmouth, in the north again, even though the heat was extreme. I did catch a couple of emus walking along the main street but I also loved this street art, just as much.

It can’t be Christmas season in Australia, without Santa making a surprise visit, in the most unexpected way. It was fun getting sprayed by the local fire department that preceded Santa’s arrival.

The kids at the resort squealed with delight as they got their ice creams.

To return home for a few weeks rest I realised how lucky I am. The horizon is beautiful no matter where one is. One just has to make the effort to seek and see it. This is what I see each morning from my bedroom.

In a difficult year, I experienced the kindness of a stranger when I fell. She bundled me into a car and took me to the hospital, stayed with me for hours because I did not know anyone in the town but as she put it, “now you know me!”.

My front entry to the home is a cottage garden that perfumes the air. I open my heart and home each morning and breathe deeply.

And in the back garden, my salad garden is teaching me the wonders of nature.

To pick a cucumber … one first enjoys the journey of the flower.

A sprig of cherry tomatoes taught me patience, as I monitored it each day for the first blush to appear.

Unable to cook like I used to, I found a simple lunch is equally good.

So I’m looking back at 2021 with a sense of accomplishment. A sense of celebration, despite it all, I survived. There have been moments and months where fearing my future, I found myself sliding down the rabbit hole. I sat with trees as my companions and know the world may not heal me, but Mother Nature does.

My wish for you is to experience being alone and being comfortable with that daunting feeling. In aloneness, to find hope, is a treasure like no other. To experience there is something better, not necessarily bigger, that will make your world the best place to live in. And, may you live well in it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird