Sunsets and Life Thoughts

Sometimes sunsets are incredibly beautiful, radiating colour everywhere as the red ball of fire sinks below the horizon. To get the maximum glory in the sky, a certain amount of cloud is necessary. When the cloud gets too thick, of course, the sunset is likely to be muted, often to a sombre shade of grey.

But wait, if one is patient, the rewards of such an event can be quite special. I was going to say ‘spectacular’ except that the whole thing is so subtle, so gentle, that calling it spectacular would be inappropriate. It happened this evening, a cloudy sunset without fireworks, followed by a sky full of pink highlights, colouring the edges of the cloud and spilling into splashes and lashes of colour through the whole of the western sky.

It’s kind of like life, isn’t it? There are spectacular moments for sure, but there are also many, many dull ones, like the muted sunset. But if we can be patient, there may be rewards beyond our imagination. I think the world generally moves at a pace that discourages patience. We can miss so much when we scurry about like so many ants, attempting to get somewhere to do something before someone else.

Let’s try patience, not only with sunsets but with one another and, most importantly, with ourselves. We’ll get where we’re going in due time.

Love, gail

An Important Postscript

Yesterday, when I wrote my post, I was feeling really stressed. As a result, I forgot to mention something that is very important to me. In retrospect, I wonder how I could have forgotten something that is so important to me, that is ingrained in my soul. You see, I’m not alone on this journey through COVID, or anything else for that matter. I have family and friends who are there for me (I hate that phrase, but you get the idea). Any number of people would respond to a need to talk or go for a walk outdoors, except that it’s really too hot to walk outdoors. The fact that we’re in the middle of a period of extreme heat and humidity doesn’t help my state of mind. I simply cannot go outside. I guess I’m feeling trapped by the weather and the virus!

Aside from my support network, there is something else. Remember my faith? We learn pretty quickly as Christians that there is no promise of an easy life. We are told that there will be difficulties. We are also told, however, that whatever we face, we do not do it alone. God is with us always. To the end. There is hope there, and I often cling to it. I can’t access this by text or email, by I sure can pray. And I need to do more of that.

[God] said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14

and Jesus said … “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

Advancing Anxiety

It’s been a while. A long while. It seems that my last post was our 2020 Christmas letter! I promised then to post regularly but I have clearly not kept that promise. I did post a lot during our cruise around South America (January and February), although I never did manage to write about the last few ports. That cruise was a wonderful, two-month long celebration of our 25th anniversary. There were times when we weren’t sure that we would even make it to 20.

Why am I posting now, you might ask? We had managed to get home from our 2020 trip just before the first lockdown here. That wasn’t too much of a hardship for us because when we aren’t traveling, we’re essentially home bodies. We go to church every Sunday, we go grocery shopping, eat out too much, and occasionally, go for a walk at our local mall. I have three monthly tea dates, but otherwise, we like being home and together. Starting on March 13, 2020, we wore masks, did church remotely, lined up to enter the grocery store with its limited capacity, cancelled all my tea dates. The mall is closed. The cruise line cancelled the cruise we wanted to take later in 2020. We’ve eaten out three times since we got home.

As the pandemic raged around us, I found myself becoming anxious. Some of you will know this, but for the rest, seven years ago, I was hospitalized. I was dizzy, incoherent, unable to walk without falling and had a host of other symptoms. This information comes from my husband because I have no memory of the week before he called an ambulance or the rest of that month. I was in ICU. I am still learning of the impact that seeing me on a ventilator had on my family. I don’t want to repeat the experience for them or for me.

At times, I wanted to enter the vaccination debate here, but as that worsened and as I learned that some of my family and friends are among the anti-vaxxers, I resisted the urge because I figured I would lose my cool. Eventually, I just stopped writing. Then, one of the bloggers I follow told us that she had tested positive for the Delta variant. This woman has been so vigilant, so compliant with public health guidelines; she’s done everything right and it didn’t stop this insidious thing from attacking her.

My anxiety has ramped up to near paranoia levels. I don’t want to leave my home. I don’t want to see anybody. I still do groceries because I don’t think it would be fair to send my husband out there if I won’t go. Many of my friends have everything delivered. Perhaps that’s next. But right now I have to get this down; we could have stopped this thing in its tracks as soon as the vaccines became available. It would have taken strong leadership, enforcement of the things we were told to do, and the exercise of human willpower. Each of us could have helped. Instead, we have more hospitals in crisis, essential health care professionals exhausted, small businesses closing forever, the travel industry crippled and millions of people feeling the pain of loss.

I’m anxious, I’m angry and I’m a little bit frightened. The post has helped me put words on my feelings. Life will go on. We may or may not get sick. We didn’t have colds last winter, I think because of masking. My guess is that we’ll have another winter to to test that hypothesis.

Another reason that I haven’t posted is that I have been somewhat preoccupied with my other writing. After 35 years of writing “science” at work, my retirement project was to write another great Canadian novel. I’ve had the idea for years, and it took some serious thinking time to put some detail on it. Then the writing began. It will continue. Hopefully so will the blog posts. One of the other bloggers I follow writes several short post during the day, I suspect whenever the muse strikes him. Maybe I should try that.

I must confess that before the latest surge began, we conferred with our niece, herself an essential health care worker, to decide whether it was safe for us to visit and meet our 11-month old great niece. Her daddy is a paramedic, clearly an essential worker, and he may have been in on the decision. However the decision was made, we went on a road trip; they live about an hour and a half away from us. It was the first time in 17 months. Here she is.

Hannah and me. She’s about to take a selfie!

Thanks for hanging in, folks.

Love, gail