I’ve been trying to come up with something inspiring to say for the new year. I have amazing ideas for retrospectives of the past year, talking about how we have become a label-driven society and that we are in danger of the labels becoming more important than the humans/issues to which we have attached them, how far we have yet to go to fully address equality issues and prejudices that have over the centuries become woven into our societal fabric so finely that we don’t even recognize them, the callousness I have witnessed on social media throughout the past year regarding the pandemic and vaccines, don’t get me started on climate change.
Instead, I offer a year’s worth of photos that I never did get around to making a post about. The first set includes some of the creatures living in our yard. Most are from June through August, when we were still unsure about how Aleks would fare, how long we would have her. When our lives became much more insular, in so many ways, as she was no longer able to get in and out of the car or go for the walks we’d always loved.
Fact is that while my ideas are wonderful as I concoct them in my head when walking our wee girl, or going to sleep, or doing the dishes, as soon as I sit down with pen and paper, or laptop, I lose them utterly. They no longer make sense, or I wax on far too philosophically and lose track of where I was going — indeed of where I wanted to end up. I am filled with a sadness that overtakes me at times and convinces me that there is nothing worthwhile in what I am doing.
I seek within myself for poetry to share, go through thousands of non-Canada-Goose-related photos to see if even one is good enough to place with an uplifting message, cast about for something positive other than the puppy to write about as I fear I will bore if I keep sharing on that, organise the some 700 Canada Goose-related photos (out of thousands) that I have deemed worthy of sharing in telling their story this year. I’ll save those for a month or so.
These are some of the polinators that visited this year.
Christmas was lovely and my sweetheart made it special, made sure it was special, encouraged me to make it special.
New Year’s Eve was different from other nights only in that we, for the second year in a row, stayed up to midnight to make sure last year left. Between them were just days, more days, watching Covid numbers go up while the government encouraged people to party on New Year’s. Our case numbers, which were at about 50,000 a day at the end of November, were 128,000 a day over Christmas weekend and are now up over 193,000 a day. More days of isolation as we avoid the virus. More days.
How many more days?
How many more days of taking more pictures of the same views, the same flowers, the same puppy? How many more days of expressing increasingly trite opinions and rhymes, using words that refuse to fall the way I want them to? How many more days of music unsung? How many more days that are the same as the last?
Well, this is the point I always come to. I’ve written several beginnings to this post, but can find no ending. And I end up reading what I’ve written and walking away.
We let our Aleksandra go, finally, ten days before Christmas and ever since, even knowing that it was the right thing, understanding that she had let her wishes be known to us as only she could, grief lies on my heart and I cannot conceive of looking forward. There is only the moment. Trying not to snipe unfairly or feel overwhelmed. Most of the time I can cover the moment with love for my sweetheart and Anastasija as I care for them, move about my day, as I do every day. Every day. And then I can’t.
You’ve already seen most of last year’s photos of Aleksandra. These are some of the last.
And I sit down to write something positive to start the year and find myself with nothing but sadness. I’d say ‘ennui’ but it feels old-fashioned and melodramatic when I look at it. Still, that’s what it is.
We have our health, we and those we love are (touch wood) Covid-free, we have each other and our wee girl who constantly amazes and delights (while at the same time challenging and irritating as only a very large puppy can), we have families and friends that love us. We have all we need to create a new beginning in the new year.
That’s something, I suppose, to get on with.
2022 is a blank canvas. No point putting expectations on it. We won’t know how it will turn out, until it we paint it. So much is up to us and the choices we make.
That being the case, as you step into the the new year, do so with love in your heart, a clear mind, and a light spirit. Smile at strangers and meet their eyes for even under a face mask, a smile is seen in the eyes. Gift someone with an unlooked for random act of kindness. Light someone else’s day with an act of senseless beauty.
I'm a Canadian who loves our planet and the people living on it. I also love to travel and take pictures. I'd like to think I've improved a little, but am pretty sure there's room to be better.
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