Delights: January 1 to January 6

January 1: A young Labrador retriever stood at attention on a slight hill, looking east. Across the street in her own yard, a second dog, identical right down to the collar, held the same position looking west. Neither moved. Even I felt the tension and the possibility. Then the first dog broke free and sprinted across the street, disappearing through the looking glass.

January 2: Our sweaters were too warm, but happily the beer was cold. Kathy and I wound through my neighborhood enjoying Christmas decorations and pushing through the warm muggy air to our local brewery. On the way home, we looked up. Are those snow clouds? Always the predictions, but rarely the event. And the thermometer read 65. I’ll dream anyway.

January 3: Surprise! Piles of heavy wet beautiful snow greeted us this morning, six or seven inches of bright white quilt batting that, until afternoon, quieted all movement. Looking out the window, my son Nate started the text chain: something about losing his keys to the hall closet. Jeremiah quickly added on: “The one with the Christmas presents?”

We were off and running, flinging dialogue from that Fibber McGee and Molly radio show we listen to on Christmas Eve. Unlike Fibber, none of us was quite ready to shovel. But like Fibber, Nate brought grouchy charm to this splendid winter day.

January 4: When the snow finally stopped yesterday, the neighborhood ventured outdoors to push and pile all that winter cotton. For our snow-starved Virginia town, the heavy work also lightened hearts. As night fell, three neighbors joined me to clear our friend Jennifer’s driveway. I think the kindness is always there; sometimes we just need to be standing outside together — with the tools resting on our shoulders and a chance to use them.

January 5: I left the library late enough to marvel at the setting sun. From my path, peppered with buildings and trees, I didn’t get an expansive view. But the planet Mars appeared to be paying a call. I wasn’t the only one marveling. My friend Eileen captured an image that seemed to be plant, animal and mineral all at once. 

January 6: Walking through the woods, I forgot my headphones. So I had to listen to the laughing creek, its belly full of snow melt. I also forgot my camera. So I had to linger on the bank, gazing at the limbs of the fallen tree and their reflection, two sets of curved fingers cupping the snow between them. And I forgot my notepad, which means I need to try to remember all of these delights.

I left all those things behind, but I did bring along a bit of wisdom: even if I didn’t record a memory for future reflection, I had those beautiful moments in an unfurling present.

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Summer on the Isle of Iona, Scotland

16 thoughts on “Delights: January 1 to January 6

  1. Looks like Maine! 😉 Snow is coming to us tomorrow.

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    1. I was definitely thinking of you, Laurie, and imagining both the wonderland and the hard work you experience all winter long!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So far, no big storms. Funny, but those south of us have been getting more snow.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely start to the year. We’ve had lots of hot sunny weather to start the year….love your story from 1 January.

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    1. When winter pushes me indoors here, I particularly enjoy sunning myself in your photos and stories! You are an oasis!

      I’m glad you like the dog tale. That was fun to watch.

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  3. Beautifully remembered and told. I like to say that the camera is a great lazyfying tool, and yet your snow photo had to be taken to be believed.

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    1. I appreciate your point about one’s camera (actually, the entire phone) being a great “lazyfying” tool for some of us. When I miss it, I realize that maybe I don’t — ! I am glad, though, I had my camera when I went for my first walk!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol Ann’s posts fill me with joy. On this snowy day in Albany, NY, I awoke to find her post, a delight indeed. I enjoy being with her in all that she explores. A gifted writer and wonderful friend, I thank God for you.

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    1. Dear Julie, thank you so much for you generous words and your LOVE. I send you mine. We have explored so much together; I look forward to seeing your photos by email soon. I thank God for you too.

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  5. Thank you, Carol Ann, for another delicious year of delights. The lighten my heart, make me laugh, and fill me with gratitude. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Your words lift me right up — and lighten my heart in return. I love staying in touch with you this way. I wish you and your family a warm and wonderful New Year too.

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  6. ” … even if I didn’t record a memory for future reflection, I had those beautiful moments in an unfurling present”

    Oh my! this went right to my heart! I often wonder if I am looking too much through my phone camera – capturing the next IG or WP post. I want to unfurl in the present more.

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    1. Thank you, Ju-Lyn, for affirming this. And I actually stomped around a bit when I noticed my “mistake” and even hoped to borrow someone’s camera. Sometimes the lessons come slowly to me. (We’ll remind each other!

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      1. Slowly slowly is better than never. Yes please, let us be each other’s reminder.

        Liked by 1 person

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