I know I’m a dinosaur, but I get a print newspaper daily. Yes, the news is sometimes hours old and maybe a bit stale, but when I open my LA Times, I can filter what is going into my head.
Yesterday, I turned to the front page and noticed every article was either scary or negative news. The exception was the upcoming political “battle” for the Democratic presidential nomination. I pictured Joe and Bernie on either side of an undecided voter, pulling his or her arm with one hand while trying to jab their opponent with a stun gun. When did a political race become a battle?
All this “bad news” got me thinking about the year 2020. If you read my blog, you know I was excited about this year. I have a friend who is quick to pass judgment on a current a year. The conversation usually starts with, “Kath, honest to God, I have never had [or seen] so much awful …”
At the end of 2019, the conversation changed. We agreed that 2019 had been a good year in many ways, and we were both looking forward to 2020. I was traveling, and she was building a new home closer to her family.
Then 2020 arrived, and like my friend, in February I was ready to consign this year to the “bad” list. So far in our lives, there have been seven deaths, including two beloved dogs. Also, a fifty-four-year-old friend has been diagnosed with metastatic stage-4 colon cancer. And I haven’t even mentioned COVID-19 and all the bizarre behavior associated with that, a looming drought, or the hateful political rhetoric that washes over us almost daily.
But is any year truly bad? I know this is a no-brainer, because it all depends on your point of view.
As you all know, we lost our grandson on February 2, and while we grieve and miss him, we cannot deny the beautiful aftereffects. Let me give you an example. A large group of twenty-something men and women have surrounded James’s parents with love, storytelling, and laughter, discussing faith and even preparing meals. They have become a whole new branch of our family …
As I write, I look out toward Boney Mountain in the Santa Monica Mountains National Park. The familiar landmark is obscured by fog. The park has been a godsend to us these days. We hike and talk and absorb the beauty of a California spring. Things seem to fall into perspective when we are in nature.
Looking up, I see the fog is dissipating and the mountain has appeared. I know that there are fields of wildflowers out there and a spring bloom of rabbits and squirrels. The snakes are out, and I saw three coyotes the other day. Good and bad? Or is it the tapestry of life: woven with a myriad of experiences, colored with emotion, and stitched together with the love and caring we have for one another? 🦋