Thursday, January 7, 2021

seeking light

It's our New Year's day tradition to start the year by a walk in our nearby beautiful State Park. The park is closed on New Year's day, so no cars are allowed in. We park our car a half mile away on a residential street, then go in through one of the side walk-in entrances.

We bundled up in layers of clothing, heavy winter coats, hats, gloves, neck/face scarves, thick socks and boots. Winter armor.

We were the only humans in the Park as far as our eyes could see and the snow was gently falling. It was like we were in another Universe. I love how this park was formed by glaciers and is home to coyotes, fox, deer, mink, possum, racoons and 200 species of birds. 

I normally do not like winter. I've been saying for years that I'd love to live in California. (We can't afford to do so.) I love warm weather, lots of sun, and being surrounded by greenery and flowers. When I stopped to take a photo I turned to Brian and said, "Do you think we'd miss this? It is kind of nice to live where we experience the change in seasons."

On que, it started to sleet, putting a kibosh on the whole "missing the change of seasons" thing. Ice pellets were whipping at our faces as we hiked back to the entrance in our clunky winter boots.

Every day since then has been gray and dreary. Nary a sign of the sun. The lyrics of "California Dreamin" by The Mamas and The Papas are my theme song. 

"All the leaves are brown
and the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
on a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
if I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
on such a winter's day"

As my friend, Lydia Green said on social media...

"By day 6, The Fog had settled completely into their bone marrow, and had begun its work of siphoning joy, hope, and vitamin D."

So, there's been some of this...

and a lot of cat snuggles.

Like all of you, I am feeling heartbroken and angry over what happened at our nation's Capitol building yesterday. There's been enough news and talk about it all over social media, so I have nothing to add. At the same time, on a personal level, I've been going through a stressful situation with our veterinarian's office and how I was treated there. It hasn't been a very good start to the New Year. 

I've been mostly cocooning...doing yoga, guided meditations, reading, trying new recipes, journaling, talking on the phone with a few of my trusted, loving friends. It all helps. 

What helps you get through dark days?


  1. We are certainly living in sad times. What is happened in this country yesterday is heartbreaking and embarrassing. Freedom is such a beautiful privilege that fellow citizens have given their lives for us to have in this country. It saddens me when people like yesterday disrespect our freedom and abuse it. I am sorry you had a Vet issue too. Not a good way to start out the year for sure. Hope as we moved forward in this new year things will improve. Have a great rest of the week. xoxo

  2. I struggle with the dreariness of winter as well. I find that cat snuggles are great therapy!

  3. Love the photo of the trees in a row with snow on them. Beautiful! I think where you live it is quite lovely. I would love to take my camera into your park.

  4. What a lovely walk you had and what wonderful coziness you have there in your home sweet home complete with warm cat snuggles. ~ Today I worked outside, slowly and gently. Can only do so much, but what little I did felt great. ~ For light in my life, I read my Bible and other uplifting writings, I pray, I watch you-tube. Right now I'm watching 4 little Grimms Fairytales. Gardening shows inspire me as do many other types of shows on you tube. I want to focus on the good, and move forward. Love, hugs and prayers for you dear Melanie ~ FlowerLady

  5. My heart is heavy too, Melanie. So much that I can't even think of words to say and have only been visiting blogs, not leaving comments. But I think you understand why I have to say hello, that I read your post and am thinking of you. Cocooning here too, yesterday was our 4 year anniversary of coming home, began so happily, ended so sadly. Hoping for better days ahead. Love to you.

  6. I'd miss the change in seasons if I lived somewhere else. Is that your backyard with, what looks like, wine bottles edging your garden? Very neat. I've bought a second sewing machine for quilting and have been working on projects, plus working full-time.

  7. Hello Sweet Melanie, Winters are always hard, the grey skies can put a damper on our spirits. This year with the nation and the world as it is, in such uncertainty it has doubled or tripled our stress. If not for my faith I could not get through any of this, but each day I draw strength from the Lord. I am weak but he is strong.
    Having a new puppy in the house has been keeping me pretty busy. She is a hand full, but also a joy. We do have jealousy issues going on between the puppy and Butchy, but I think with my help they will become great friends in the end. Old dogs do not like to share their Mom or their toys and they don't like being pounced on or nipped at and that is just how puppies play.
    Well, that what is going on around here . . . it does keep me busy and helps the time fly through these grey and dreary days of winter.
    Sending warm hugs your way,

  8. I haven't been doing very well with everything going on in the world either. I have been busy though and that helps, as do walks. As someone who lived in California and Arizona for a total of 23 years, I can tell you that you probably would miss the seasons. We are living back in Utah and I am loving the cold and snow after so many years without it. I hope you stay safe and warm and well my friend. Praying for healing for our country and all of our broken hearts.

  9. We don't get too many dark days where we live. Lots of sun. We do get our four seasons here which I like. Actually I would love a few dark, snowy days. I keep looking at our forecast but nope, not yet. We usually get a couple of snow days so it'll happen eventually. It is cold here though. Sorry about how you were treated at your vet's office. People are so angry and stressed out and I'm afraid it's probably not going to get better any time soon unfortunately. Yes, what happened at our capitol was a travesty, those people should be ashamed of themselves. I know I am embarrassed for them since they don't seem to have the good sense to be embarrassed for themselves.

  10. I definitely miss changing of the seasons since here everything pretty much looks the same all year, though in winter, if people plant gardens, then there are flowers to brighten up the scene. I'm definitely sick of seeing garbage everywhere I go so could do without that. Definitely prefer milder weather for the necessary walking I do every day. Summer heat of 120 F makes it not so desirable for outdoor activities. We've had lots of clouds lately and with tinted windows that can make things seem dark. My mood has been contemplative lately with everything that's been going on over the past year. Sorry to hear you've had a problem with the vet's office. All the things you're doing, I'm doing, too. Take care. Stay safe and warm.

  11. I love your pictures. It looks so cozy.
    I don't mind winter this year. Probably because I don't have anywhere to go other than the library to pick up books or Ella's horse lesson or walks at the forest preserve. I am enjoying the peacefulness and the snow. For many years I didn't but now I am and it is nice.
    I love that you had the forest preserve to yourselves on New Years Day. :)

  12. Cat snuggles sound fabulous. I find my peace in crafting, fluffing and feathering. And I turn off the tv. Enjoy your furry friends!

  13. I may not like each season here in Central New York (heat and humidity-ick, I'm looking at you), but fall and winter and the change into each? I do love that! I just keep hauling myself out of bed each day to go for a walk, and then hope the momentum keeps me going. Stay warm!

  14. Long stretches of dark days were one of the things I don't miss about my home state of Michigan. Here in NC there are less of those, but the summer heat and humidity can be brutal. I guess most places have their good and bad aspects. I do know that I want the change of seasons wherever I live.
    Cuddling with your kitty sounds like a wonderful way to pass the time.

  15. I love winter walks, your pictures are exactly why. Fresh air always perks me up and gives me a sense of renewal. Lately I've even started taking short car rides with Poppy just to escape the house! Hopefully when my back is better, we can do the walks again.

    Take care,



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