Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Finding the Magic in each New Year

Here we are at the end of yet another year, and the beginning of a new one.  As is always the case, the past year brought joys and sorrows, pleasures and pain.  In 2013,  my family mourned the loss of  my beautiful cousin Anita in January, my sweet granddog Becky in April,  and my wonderful mom in October.  And in January, my critters and I welcomed Anita's dog Mitzi to our fold, and in October we welcomed dear little Shiloh.
We may as well sleep through this.
We won't get a treat 'till she's done blogging. 

And we said goodbye to friends too - human, canine and feline - like Bob and Georgi and Tux and Draeanne and Shasta.  We celebrated with friends who welcomed new members too.  

Each year brings new adventures, new surprises - some happy, some sad.  Like presents under a tree, some of what the new year brings will be welcomed and needed and loved, other things we could live without and would oh too happily exchange if we could. But unlike the presents, there are no  wrappings and boxes to disguise what gifts we receive, no refunds, no Boxing Day sales, no exchanges.  We take what life hands out - one day, one hour, one minute at a time;  we celebrate gifts that make us happy and try to find the magic when we don't get what we hoped for.  

And magic there is - from sunrise to sunset, in smiling faces and warm hugs, in a surprise email or phone call, a favourite song, a meal shared, a pleasurable book, a dog's wagging tail.  Often when we need it most, something magical will happen to tell us "It's okay - everything will work out in the end."

Eddie makes magic with a smile

This last week of 2013, as I think of my shrinking human family and of  friends who are struggling, I have been mesmerized by all the birds around me.  On Saturday, the day after Draeanne passed away,  Bonnie and I were returning from a walk on the escarpment with Keaghan and Eddie when we suddenly heard music all around us and saw a dozen or more teeny tiny birds flying from bough to bough.  As small as a hummingbird, yet without the long hummer beak or rapid pattern of flight. Not a nuthatch or wren or chickadee or bushtit or kinglet - smaller, much smaller.  A slight hint of green on the chest.  They flitted about too quickly for me to catch them with the camera lens.  I came home and searched the bird books for an hour but couldn't find anything close.  It was a magical moment for Bonnie and I as we watched and listened to them, and that is the magic that makes grief bearable.

And more.... on my way to Chemainus on Sunday thinking of another friend going through a tough time, I saw eagles, dozens and dozens of bald eagles - I counted thirty just as I drove slowly by - within a few hundred yards of fields and trees.  Alas, I was headed for a volunteer shift at the theatre and had little time to stop and gaze, but oh what magic that brief glimpse held!

And this morning, as Shiloh and I walked the seawalk, we saw many species of ducks in the water, and a heron on a post, and a kingfisher diving down repeatedly from the railing of the sea walk, catching tiny fish in the waters below. On Somenos Marsh, sixteen white swans.  At Crofton Lake, five Barrow's Goldeneye - four males and one female, float silently by.  Magic, simply magic.

Magic in a bird's flight or song or silent gliding over water.  Magic in a dog's happy smile as he runs along a trail.  Magic in a valley view with a light blanket of fog turning city to ocean.  Magic in a sunrise. Magic.

Find the magic and it will give you strength to get through whatever challenges the new year brings, and joy with which to celebrate.

Happy New Year, everyone.


Marie said...

What a wonderful posting, Jean, I can relate to so much of what you say.
Wishing you all the best for 2014,
Hugs for Eddie and the rest of the crew!

Cathy said...

Happy New Year to you and your critters. Thank you so much for sharing.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Simple thoughts, a profound message and illustrated beautifully with some outstanding photography, Jean. Blog reading has fallen by the way side lately, but your post inspires me to keep at it, however slowly. May 2014 bring inner harmony, good health and more joys than sorrows to you and those you love.

Dawn said...

Jean, you share the best. Look for the magic indeed. You see magic through your lens and share it with us.