Delights: January 1 to January 7

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m in the mood for another Year of Delights. I hope you are too….

January 1:  I watched a three-year old lean over a small tractor, just his size, on the neighborhood field. He fitted the broken front hood once, twice, before it snapped into place. “Allons,” his father said, surprising me with French. And they did, along the field, going, going, going. Until they left the tractor behind for the next child.

A glimpse of our creek, through a frame of lichen.

January 2: Under blankets and over beers, my friend Kathy described her family’s Christmas pageant this year. Young adult cousins repurposed bath robes, a graduation gown, a cat in a box, and cotton balls (for sheep and God) to enact the Christmas story. In the living room, with lessons and carols and a few cocktails too, the young people took a fresh look at genders, costumes and even species (the cat in the manger) to celebrate Christmas Eve. Everyone joined in with love and joy. Gloria in Excelsis Deo. 

January 3: Imagine a warming fire, a comfy chair, sips of sweet vermouth, and an engaging book. On this Sunday I didn’t have to imagine these things. Even losing a cascade of chess games to my son Jeremiah enriched a delightful rainy day. 

COVID love, from Jeremiah to his Dad

January 4: In my childhood box of  Crayola crayons, there was a color I had little use for: an almost peach, almost tan, almost white color that just disappeared into the pages of my coloring book. And then today, there it was in the sky with swirls of oyster gray punctuated by chocolate limbs of winter trees. I’m glad I waited to see the color used so splendidly.

January 5: I resumed a morning yoga routine inviting me to stretch tall, fold low, flatten my back table-like, and then roll slowly up to praise arms and eventually prayer hands. 61 times. To keep count, I repeated my number with each movement: 17, 17, 17, 17, 17, 18. I counted and moved myself into a peaceful meditative state. 

This lovely staircase in the Iowa State Capitol is itself a meditation in paint and iron.

January 6: Arms waving, hips swinging, head bobbing up and down. And who knows what’s happening on the screen. Through the glass door, I glimpsed my son Nate leading his students in a lunchtime energy boost. It worked for me too!

January 7: A squirrel tiptoed along a skinny fence rail toward me. We’d pass in seconds. Then it leapt, flying four feet to land on a tree trunk tilted over the creek. May I have such shocking confidence. And may I understand that if I leap and miss, I’ll probably just get wet. 

I shouldn’t need to say this, but I will: I stand with our democracy, our Constitution, our country’s promise. I stand with my fellow public servants and all who serve in myriad courageous and generous ways for our great Nation.

This is the full image of the piece I feature at the very top of this post. It’s a 1999 work in the collection of Spellman College entitled “From the Mountain Top,” by Benny Andrews (1936-2000). It inspires me every day.

Readers, I’m delighted that several of you have are browsing my past essays — I’ve hit 100! The easiest way to explore is by consulting the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands…

Also, do you want to receive notifications by email each time I make a post? Just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” 

2 thoughts on “Delights: January 1 to January 7

  1. Beloved Carol Ann,
    I’m definitely in the mood for another year of delights, so I’m grateful you are, too. The other day I was thinking that I missed reading your delights, and then, poof! There were delights in my in-box. Thank you!

    I can’t help but to comment on the picture of Jeremiah and Kevin. What a resemblance! A very sweet moment, captured.

    Much love,


    1. Thank you for the sunshine of your note, Carolyn. We will delight each other! I send warm wishes and hope for the new year to you and all you love. Carol Ann


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