Sometimes the world can feel overwhelming. Illness (our own or that of loved ones), alarming happenings around us, or disappointments of professional or personal kinds can each drag us under the border of happiness like an undertow in the sea, and keep us down. This year has been a challenging one for many people for many reasons. For me, it’s been a powerful mix of excitement (seeing the final cover, blurbs, and first review of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter; and visiting Scotland with my husband and son) and frustration (U.S. and U.K. politics). Every day, as a means to ground myself, I’ve made sure that I find something small to notice and appreciate. It has been a pattern in the early autumn ice, the changes I’ve detected in my son’s laugh as he nears age 11, a crow’s antics with a crust of bread outside my writing nook window, the pungent taste of the bittersweet chocolate I received as a gift. Finding ways to appreciate the little things of life can help us all feel comforted, and sometimes even strengthened. Intentionally finding those small glimpses of beauty in everyday life is something my mother taught me by her example in 2015 as she found ways to enjoy the life that ALS was taking from her.
Here’s my hope to all of you for a good year ahead, filled with many beautiful things large and small.