Tuesday, January 04, 2005

What do you see?

Here we are again, tucked in safely at Riverwood after our Christmas celebration in the big city. Whew! I am very glad to be back in this quiet place after all the busyness and travel of the last few days. We had a wonderful time of feasting, playing, laughing, crying, giving, receiving, remembering old friends, and making new ones, but it is time now for some quiet contemplation and days filled with writing, reading and maybe a walk or two along a snowy trail. Heaven on earth!

Even though we were looking forward to getting back to the farm, it tugged at our hearts to leave the kids after such a nice visit. The seven-hour trip between us seemed so huge when we pulled out of their driveway. Parting does pull at the heart-strings doesn’t it?

We drove along in silence for awhile and let our feelings go where they would as the sweet memories of the past week mingled with the sadness of parting. So many things in life are bittersweet aren’t they? We really can’t have one without the other, so we might as well accept and feel what we feel and make the best of every situation. How could we really appreciate the taste of the sweet if we didn’t have the bitter with which to compare it?

We sat quietly for most of the trip here, but felt our spirits lifting as we got closer and closer to the farm and started to focus on the gifts Mother Nature had in store for us during this visit? That is the key to dealing with any heartache isn’t it? Let yourself feel what you feel, but try to focus on something positive and not dwell on what hurts.

The drive in was dull because the trees had lost their pretty white dresses and the snow on the fields was old and tired looking. The countryside seemed to reflect our sad feelings about leaving the kids.

We had clear roads for most of the trip, but when we turned off the main highway we hit icy, slushy, messy roads that were very slippery. Oh dear! At least we didn’t have far to go at that point, but we wondered what the farm lane would be like? When we got here we discovered the lane was a sheet of solid ice. Yikes! Should we park the car out at the road and walk in, or just drive in as far as we could? I got out to open the gate and could hardly stand up – it was glare ice!

We decided that driving would be safer than walking, so we put the car in a low gear, kept one foot on the brake and coasted down the driveway. We stopped just short of the snow bank at the end of the drive. Whew! We wouldn’t be getting up the driveway again anytime soon, but we had a fresh load of groceries, so we would be fine for a week or more. We had arrived safely and that was all that mattered right now.

We opened the car doors and the first thing we heard was the happy chattering of the Chickadees. They were busy munching on the apple slices and peanut butter we had left for them in the old apple tree on Christmas Day. They seemed to be welcoming us “home” when we pulled into the lane. What a nice greeting at the end of a long and rather sad drive.

Mother Nature does have gifts to give us to cheer us up if we only have eyes to see and ears to hear. I hope you see and unwrap her gifts each day of this new year.

"Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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