Chasing mirages

Just when I start to feel sorry for myself, being isolated and so bone-weary of it, stuck at home with dismal, overcast, gray skies in the throes of winter, some thoughts cross my mind making me shake off my lethargic woe-is-me attitude and pause to be grateful.

It seems to be our human nature to always want what we can’t have. Some of us live our entire lives this way, always wanting more and more to fill up some vast void deep inside of us. We think that if we just had this magic cure-all, this latest do-thingy, this status-symbol invoking whatever, it will make us feel like we have a “good” life.

And really, all of those things we long for or thirst after are only just mirages. They never will make us feel whole and satisfied.

Dull, dreary surroundings get the best of me especially when sunshine is lacking. And I feel like I’m grasping for something that just isn’t there – that mirage image – instead of taking time to realize what I do have. 

Do I have sunshine every day? Nope, not when I live in a part of my home state which is notorious for having more overcast days than not.

Can I travel too far outside my home right now? Nope. That dratted virus is still causing fear and panic.

Can I visit friends and family near and far? Nope due to a repeat of the above issue.

Can I explore new indoor places/activities/volunteer opportunities/social gatherings? Nope. Same story.

But…I must stop chasing after mirages, even if they’re only in my thoughts, and focus on the real, tangible blessings in my life right now.

I am well, even after a little mishap that kept me from spending any time on electronics or my favorite pastimes of reading and working on crossword puzzles for a couple of days. And all of my family is well also.

I possess all the necessities of life: clean water to drink, nourishing food to eat (and my spouse, Papa, who is enjoying cooking right now), a comfortable home that we own, our own transportation, heat to warm these cold days, electricity, clothes to wear, and means of communicating with family and friends even if I can’t see them in person.

I have companionship with my best friend and husband of 40+ years, and I am loved by family and friends. Furthermore, I have a God who listens, understands, and answers in His perfect way and timing when I tell my troubles to Him in prayer.

And I am reminded that I wouldn’t truly appreciate and be thankful for all of those treasures if life was always sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Sometimes it takes experiencing dark, difficult, and trying circumstances to consider the saving graces we do have and feel gratitude for them.

What brought all this to my mind? The following quote:

“All sunshine makes the desert.” ~ Arabian proverb

©mamasemptynest.wordpress.com 2021

In the beginning

The new year, 2021, has dawned.

As I write this post, I gaze out the window watching snow flurries mixed with raindrops steadily descending on our landscape which just recently became devoid of its snowy white blanket.

Winter really has just commenced here but it seems like that polar season has already occupied my mind and heart lately. I’ve been frozen in place, numb not just from pandemic restrictions and concerns but with a tinge of melancholy as Papa and I ramble around alone, for the most part, in this empty nest made even more so since we couldn’t see all of our family over the holiday season.

So I try to shake off those blue feelings by reminding myself it’s a brand new year. A fresh start for another year of life. January, this first month of the nascent year, is just the beginning of the minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months to come. And shouldn’t the onset of this dawning year be invigorating and one to anticipate with bursting enthusiasm and eagerness?

On New Year’s Day, I opened the window blinds upon awakening and noticed a breathtaking mural painted in the sky – dawn – as it was breaking over the hills. The radiant colors were magnificent and inspiring. Yet, soon afterwards as we dismantled the Christmas tree, my inspiration waned and fizzled just like those worn out twinkling lights lost their sparkle.

I remarked to Papa that I needed to busy myself readying blog posts for the month of January, but where to begin? Especially when that spark of creativity is absent? When new experiences just aren’t happening because we’re “sheltering in place” amidst warnings of another virus surge?  

I lamented to Papa and he sympathetically replied, “That’s right, you’re finished with your lighthouse series, aren’t you?”  I nodded, appreciating that he remembered even though he, not being a writer or given to sparks of creativity with words, doesn’t really understand the mire of doldrums I felt.

Being very uninspired and instead of writing, I wearily opted for cleaning out a pile of scribbled notes I’ve stuffed in my ol’ reliable notebook – the one chock full of quotes worth remembering. And as I sorted, copied the meaningful ones in the notebook, and trashed those hastily written slips, I stumbled across the following:

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

~ Plato

Simple words of truth, aren’t they?

If you don’t begin, you’ll never accomplish your work. If you don’t begin, your best-made plans are for naught.

If you don’t begin, you are stuck in the same place, frozen by whatever hampers you from moving forward.

If you don’t begin, you can’t create. The God of the universe shows me that in Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

In the beginning…in the beginning…where I am now in the beginning of a new year.

The proverbial light bulb illuminated reminding me that beginning now, in this newly arrived, unexplored, untried, emergent dawn of a new year, I’ve been given the opportunity to embark anew on a writing journey and I must seize it.

Even though we may be restricted physically from traveling too far from home, experiencing new adventures, or even spending quality time with family and friends, no one (or thing) can restrict my thoughts and my urge to assemble words of hope and encouragement on this blog.

And so I embrace and am grateful for another new beginning each morning to share my thoughts or whatever words are given to me, wherever they may take me. I sincerely hope you travel along.  

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ~ Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328), German theologian

©mamasemptynest.wordpress.com 2021