January was kind to me this year

January was kind to me this year. That is, aside from dumping the ‘flu on me, though I may have blamed others and not January specifically.
January may have read my column from a few weeks back (though that may be presumptuous on my part) and decided to extend a hand of gentle consideration and go easy on me.
If that is the case, thank you, January.
We had little or no snow in January and what was here, as a result of December snowfall, has gone. Last week was sunny and bright, not even a hint of a January wind that makes me pull my shoulders up inside my parka, and tuck my chin behind my zipper and fold in, and hurry as I walk “Gracie” while wondering what it would be like not to have to walk her twice a day or more.
Did I say that out loud?
I don’t actually walk “Gracie.” I don’t hold on to her by a leash and pause while she pauses. I walk through the woods and she runs ahead of me, digging up this and that, and rolling in anything disgusting she happens to have the good fortune to find–despite my numerous lectures on the subject of abandoning this behaviour of hers.
She chases pretend squirrels and doesn’t even notice the rabbit watching her from under the spruce tree. “Gracie” will never get a job as part of a crack canine police unit.
Walking with “Gracie” mostly was joyful in January, with no need for snowshoes or ski pants or the stamina to tromp through snow that is thigh deep. Walking has been with great ease and with that ease has come the opportunity to survey my surroundings.
Last week, I walked to the back of my property, through the trees, to a mound at the property’s edge. When I stand on this mound, I allow only positive thoughts to join me.
No grumbling, no complaining, no whining allowed while I stand on my positive-thinking mound. And if I can’t find positive thoughts, then I just empty my head and watch “Gracie,” who seems to find delight in just about everything.
This particular mound looks out over the Gaspereau Valley and it is only this time of year that I have a view that is unencumbered by leaves.
The land on the slope below my mound was clear-cut several years ago and so my view has been vast up until now. But the scrub brush has grown up quickly, trying to assert itself ahead of the spruce and fir trees that take their time, and have exceeded the height of my mound and of me.
Once the leaves are out, my view is blocked.
But on the last day of January, as I wrote this, I could look out into the blue sky and see all the way down the Gaspereau Valley. And it was a beautiful sight–chasing away my concerns regarding the state of the world and all my failed promises to eat better and drink more water.
I thanked January, thanked her for not slamming her weight around and thanked her for allowing me to haul wood in without the feat of strength usually required in January.
I thought maybe January and I could become friends. Maybe.
Now to get along with February.
wendistewart@live.ca

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