Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I know we all have suffered from the mosh pit of fear during the past months of economic hardship but I'm going to be defiantly Pollyanna about this New Year's Eve and wish all and sundry a joyous and fruitful New Year. May my Scottish roots express it best:

A Guid New Year to ane an' a'

A guid new year to ane an' a'

An' mony may ye see,

An' during a' the years to come,

O happy may ye be.

An' may ye ne'er hae cause to mourn,

To sigh or shed a tear;

To ane an'a baith great an' sma'

A hearty guid New year.

A Good New Year to One and All

A good new year to one and all

And many may you see

And during the year to come

Oh, happy may you be.

And may you never have cause to mourn

To sigh or shed a tear;

To one and all both great and small

A hearty good New Year

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unexpected Boons

Global warming sucks but sometimes it can give you an unexpected boon. Because the weather patterns are all wonky and wacky I might actually get a white Christmas this year. For those of you who know I live in Canada that may seem like an odd thing to say. In most cases I'd agree with you but I live in the tropics of Canada, the rainforested West Coast where snow makes a visit rarely.

I love snow. I guess one would when it shows up so infrequently and in such small amounts. Rain and wind are usually my lot in winter and that can get pretty depressing after a while. At least snow reflects the light and makes things seem a bit brighter and cheerier. I like snow at any time of winter but the idea of snow at Christmas holds a special place in my heart. I think it does for a lot of people, even those who see it quite a bit all winter.

There is something magical about a snowy Christmas. I know a lot of those Currier and Ives pictures, well-cherished movies and Christmas prose of long past play a part in my nostalgic sighs but there seems to be some necessary about snow for Christmas. When snow falls, all the noises are muted; the world seems hushed. What better time of the year to have a moment of quiet than the days when we ponder the mysteries and wonder of that special birth so very long ago that brought Love personified to the world. When it snows, it's as if the world itself seems to meditate on the sacredness of this time of year.

Christmas is also a time for joyful get-togethers with friends and family. What is better to get people together than snow and cold? Snow lets a little bit of the child out in so many people just like Christmas can. Or should. It makes us a little more apt to throw a snowball or two, build a snowman together, go sledding or even use it as an excuse to go inside to have hot chocolate heaped with marshmallows. And so it should. I think we all take life a little too seriously sometimes.

So there you have it--the reason I love snow. Snow is LOVE and snow is JOY. Snow brings both these feelings to my heart and my heart sends these feelings to all of you out there who read this.

Bless you all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Simple Prayer for Snuggles

Do you know that ideal picture of a person sitting in a room, music playing gently in the background, a crackling fire, a good book in hand and a dog curled up, head lolling on that person's lap? But for the crackling fire, I have achieved that perfect little bit of bliss. I waited a long time for it.

Growing up and into my twenties, my family had boxer dogs. They are amiable, fun-loving family dogs and I still have my heart set on having another boxer one day. Yet there was always one thing that bothered me about the boxers we had. As much as I had fun walking them, stroking their enviably soft ears, squishing their fun jowls, I never got the gesture of affection I saw my sister and father get. I, too, wanted a sleeping dog to snuggle up and rest a weary head on my lap. It never happened. I tried all kinds of coaxing and sweetness. Nothing. I thought I'd never know that kind of sweet moment of pure love from a dog. Then I met Buster.

I've had Buster for one and a half years. Runt of the pack, living outdoors since he was just weaned, he was the happy-go-lucky, mixed breed puppy I passed by on my way to work. He was a bit too happy for the other dogs in the neighbourhood, though. More than I cared to see, his pale fur was smeared with blood from one submission session or another. Fate placed his care into my hands around his sixth month and it has been love, sweet, love ever since.

When I first got him, Buster was a shivering worrywart, scared of doing the wrong thing but he soon learned that my man and I were head over heels in love with him. He knew in a short time that he'd never have to shiver in the cold anymore if he didn't want to nor have to sneak around to find food when his brother wasn't looking. He is currently a much-plumper, long-legged couch hog who likes to chase squirrels, birds and water from the hose. He has us wrapped around his little finger. Most of all, he is the answer to my snuggly puppy dreams.

Buster loves to cuddle, practically rubbing himself around you like a cat or flopping like a fish across the couch so he can burrow his head on your lap or behind your back. He'll curl up like a ball one day or stretch out like a bear rug across you the next. Bliss really does happen while a gently snoring puppy dog uses you as a pillow, occasionally twitching and whimpering in his sleep as he chases that elusive cat through his dreams. It melts my heart every time.

My prayer was a simple one and I thank God every day that a furry little angel entered my life ready to snuggle.

Friday, November 7, 2008

the egret shifts from stillness
to stillness

~Timothy Russell

The above haiku is the inspiration for the title of this new blog. It seems to
encompass the qualities I admire in egrets, herons and their ilk--
slow, thoughtful pacing. Their only quickness comes when they have their
target in sight.