Welcome to wherever you are

When I was a kid, I wished I could hide inside our Christmas tree and gaze at the world through a rainbow of colour—the way the chipmunks did in the Christmas cartoon starring Mickey Mouse.
Sometimes, I still wish I could do that.
To compensate, I do the next best thing. One evening each year during the holidays, after all my Christmas decor is in place and the tree is trimmed, I get bundled up, turn out all the house lights except the Christmas ones, and go outside.
Then I pretend I don’t live there, turn around, and peek in the living room window as a stranger looking in on the Christmas of someone else. It’s a favourite tradition where once a year I look in on my life in a perfect world.
However, with a dog like “Griffon” gallivanting around inside, dredging up 10-km winds with his wagging mammoth-like tail and sending ornaments swaying to the brink of disaster, the fantasy doesn’t last long.
But then, it’s not supposed to. Besides, if it did, I’d have nothing to write about every week.
Come to think of it, ahead of a simple-minded dog, “larger than life” experiments with Pete, and the potholes of home improvements, I have the late Pierre Berton to thank for my column.
After his death on Nov. 30, 2004 I spent time reading about the life of this Canadian icon—and that he’d written a 1,200-word column six days a week for the Toronto Star newspaper from 1958-62.
I also learned that he often penned about his family life.
I’d been wanting to write a column for years and all of a sudden Berton’s focus spoke volumes to me about the old saying, “Write about what you know.”
If he could drum up one column a day, surely I could find something in my neck of woods to write about once a week.
With this being my last column of the first full year I’ve been writing one, I thought I’d give the usual suspects a bit of a break, swing my literacy licence in a rare direction, and offer some advice for 2006.
I go to great lengths to live a purpose-filled life—and often go far enough as to drive my husband bananas with my “non-stop” approach to every day. And when I choose quiescence, sip coffee, and eat chocolates, that time, too, has design.
And I’m not without my “moments.” Those fits of temper brewed over hot coals of discontent because I have too much to do and not enough time are well-documented. I’ll also admit frustration is quick to erupt when I believe life should be dealing me a different hand than one I’m holding.
But I also understand that no matter how life may saddle me, I am exactly where I am supposed to be. “Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should,” (taken from the “Desiderata”) says it best.
And while there are times that I frown on that outlook, especially when life stinks, I still believe it to be true.
That belief keeps me approachable to learning more the why’s and what’s of this fascinating and multi-layered world and the importance of my part in it, which I suspect will take my soul lifetimes to master.
But that’s another story.
So stand on the edge of 2005 and look back at what you’ve seen and done and learned, and what you’ve lived through, cried through, laughed through and shared, then grant yourself peace and go forward.
As the poet “Rumi” wrote, “This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor . . . . treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.”
Here’s to 2006!

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