Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sunrise Magic

 There is power in the sunrise.  I have always loved to watch the sunrise and set, but to be honest even though Rick and I were always early risers we didn't always stop to watch the magic.  That changed with the isolation Covid 19 brought.  We began to look forward to the sunrise with the anticipation of small children waiting for Santa.  Watching the sun come up became a ritual with coffee, conversation and observation and I have continued that ritual, though the conversation is one sided, unless you count the comments of the dogs barking at the shadows of the morning.

Every sunrise is different, much like our lives.  Some mornings it is only shades of grey finally meandering into a semblance of light.  Then there are mornings with color so beautiful that the Great Master artists would weep because they cannot replicate the beauty on canvass.  

As the sun stretches across the horizon, you feel the earth begin to awaken.  Birds start to sing, chipmunks and squirrels and deer slowly move through the dead leaves and bare trees.  The sun rise brings the promise of a new day.  A new day brings the promise of hope, possibilities and opportunities .

The sunrise reminds me that there is comfort in knowing yesterday is now behind me.  What ever yesterday brought, good or bad is now stored in my brain as a memory and this new day brings the ability to create new and even better memories.  If there is sadness, it helps to remind you of your strength and courage, because you got out of bed to see this new day.

I hear the hens clucking each morning, they are reminding me they have done their duty, eggs are laid and now it is time for me to feed them.  I walk through the morning light, sometimes in rain, wind and fog to feed those chatting girls, they rub against my legs, wanting me to reach down and smooth their feathers, demanding that corn be given in gratitude for their hard work.

As the day brightens, my world becomes more clear. There are dew drops hanging on brown dried leaves and I breathe in air so clean and crisp it makes me laugh.  That is the magic of the sunrise, it makes the ordinary sparkle like the precious jewel that it is.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Happy Birthday Rick, I Love You More

 All of these firsts, you know they are coming, you think you are prepared...but you are not.

Today Rick would have been 70 years old.  I would have painted him a birthday card, cooked any  meal he wanted, bought him a gift,  and we would have had a bottle of champagne tonight.  Last year we spent his birthday weekend at Mentone which is a beautiful artist community in the mountains near us.

As we celebrated his birthday last year, we talked about plans for my birthday in March, plans for our anniversary in May and possibly a trip back to Ireland in the fall.  Covid hit mid-March and our plans were put on hold.  On July 16, the day he died, all plans were cancelled and my normal disappeared.

Today is his birthday, tomorrow will be six months since he passed.  People keep asking how am I doing?  I have no answer for that.  I say ok, but ok is relative to each day.  All I can do is share with you what I have done in six months.   Get out of bed, get dressed, take care of animals, do chores around the farm, take care of the house, breathe, walk in the words, cry, handle business affairs that were left by a sudden death, reach out to friends, read, paint,  deal with surprises, mourn for all those I know that Covid has taken, do everything I know to stay healthy, talk to Rick constantly, and slowly begin to patch my life and my broken heart, knowing that the hole never heals. 

I know he has many friends and family who miss him,  but missing him is only a part of the picture of my life without him.  I reach for him, strain to hear his voice, hunger for his touch, remember his smell, thirst for our conversations with our morning coffee, say absurd things to each other, laugh over the mundane,  and shed tears sometimes,  being in the car together, writing songs and performing together, walking these woods...this list could go on for days.

My friends in the widow's club keep telling me this year of firsts is the worst, I believe them.  But I still make myself find gratitude every day, in sunsets, frozen fog, emails and calls . There is still so much beauty in the world and I truly look for it every day and you know, I always find it.

So today on his birthday, I hope he is celebrating all the beauty that he saw and captured in his photographs, that he is feeling all the love from his friends, family and me.  Today, no matter how much I miss him, I celebrate his birth and know that he touched many lives because he lived 69 years. 

Happy Birthday Rick!   I love you more.

Friday, January 1, 2021


 Five in the morning, January 1, 2021.  I think the world breathed a collective sigh at midnight.  For those of us who survived 2020 and our loved ones didn't , today has probably not been one of celebration but of realizing that we made it.

Rain is coming down this morning and it is unusually warm, a very mild 65 degrees and storms are approaching.  I can feel the atmosphere changing, the pressure is shifting as though 2021 is pushing her way into our lives.  Maybe this is her way of showing us there is strength left in us, that we are stronger than what we think.

New Years was one of Rick's favorite celebrations.  He loved the idea of a clean slate, of starting everything anew.  He was the resolutions king.  He would make a list, then a mind map, then a recording of his resolutions and listen to them almost daily.  My attitude toward the New Year drove him crazy.

Basically, I make a Vision Board and look at it daily.  That board usually contains pictures of places I want to visit, music gigs I want to play, pictures of the two of us enjoying life, family and friends. And of course always positive thoughts.  That was in the past.  This year, I am still trying to figure out how to function without Rick.  I have come to understand that I can't fix the hole, it has to heal itself.  I have to honor how I feel every day and what it takes for me to survive each day.  To make a Vision Board, you have to have a vision, mine is still out of focus.

I spent yesterday working on the chicken pen, again.  Just when I thought those girls were housed in the perfect coop, a hawk tried to invade their home.  I reinforced the netting across the top of the open run and fingers are crossed that did the trick.  I am grateful for my hens, they entertain and provide me with problems that have to be solved.  The three dogs do that as well.  Hook has a nail that is  ripped because he dug a hole six inches deep by the back fence, so that Kodak could escape daily.  The fence is fixed, now to work on Hook's nail.

My hopes for this year are simple, we as humans open our hearts to kindness toward each other, we as a world work together to end this pandemic, and I find my way to the life that is waiting for me to resume.

I hope that 2021 lifts the burden that so many I know have carried.  I know there is much work to be done on ourselves and that there is still a rough ways to go.  Responsibility has to be accepted, sleeves rolled up and we must be willing to work hard for each other and our world.  I think our world is worth it, the human race is worth it.  

As the wind and rain grow more energetic outside this morning, I know there is always sunshine behind every dark cloud, you just have to make it through the storm.  You might come out of the storm bruised and beaten, but when the sun peeks through, there is hope.  And that is what I have for 2021, hope.