As I dragged myself out of my warm bed this morning, bracing for the cold – (even Spirit did not bother leaving his cozy bed, one eye open, with the look of “what are you thinking?” then going back to sleep). Then, digging out my clothes wondering if I’d be warm enough in 3 pairs of pants, 4 tops, a balaclava and hat – oh and the ubiquitous mask. And who else is crazy enough to walk in the cemetery this frigid morning?
Well it turns out there were 14 crazy people, all bundled up so much it was hard to recognize each other, with our talented fitness leader trying valiantly to corral this unruly bunch, but we were already laughing and making jokes in the comfort of familiarity that blankets this wonderful group. And we were even able to enjoy coffee outside in the church park, after our brisk walk.
Last Sunday I listened to Guy Vanderhaeghe being interviewed on CBC, talking about his latest book “August Into Winter” (which I have not yet read) but he said something that resonated with me, in relation to the darkness that many of us are struggling with. He talked about “the joy of hope”, and I’ve decided that is going to be my mantra for 2022.
It’s easy to get swallowed up in this never ending pandemic, as it seems to take more energy each day to stare down. And we do need to find joy in our hope. And how important it is to continue to make plans: London? Banff? Trips? There’s a measure of control in making plans, being hopeful that they will come to fruition, with the sense of purpose in putting all the pieces together. And the shared sense of excitement when we work through those plans with others.
Which brings me to my other mantra for this year. It is “the joy of connection”. How lucky I/we are to be able to live through these very challenging days knowing we have each other for support, to share our worries, our fears, our losses………and also to be able to laugh and have fun. Thank you.
On a housekeeping note, the group decided that given the winter weather, we will meet in the cemetery at 9 a.m. on Saturdays, starting next week, Jan 15, until April. We can look forward to staying in our warm beds just a bit longer.