As we begin this New Year there is really a kind of hush all over the world. So much has taken place this year as to make it a most unusual year we have faced in our lifetime. But out of all this isolation and dramatic effect many truly beautiful things have emerged as well.
Winter brings with it a great sense of “tucking in” and staying the course as we begin to semi-hibernate to get through the cold and snow. But the snow and the cold have a wonderful effect on the earth as it puts everything to rest for an extended period. When we look out at the wide expanse of white and see the trees barren of their leaves we have sometimes a magnificent panorama of crystals and a sense of calm. As prairie people we love the landscape and know that this period of rest will be followed by a Spring full of regeneration and joy and hope. So many people love the winter time and the outdoor pursuits that it brings. Skiing, both cross country and downhill; snowshoeing; trekking; outdoor hockey and just the idea of trying to be one with the landscape can be exciting and thrilling, too. In fact several friends tell me that to them this is the most joyous period of the year as they get a chance to be one with nature and know its serene beauty too. A dear friend who is a renowned Canadian artist tells me that she has been walking daily in the woods and to her surprise every day she is seeing birds that she has never noticed before and small animals and deer who are finding the calm just as thrilling as can be. In fact since she is so creative she is using this as a subject for her latest series of paintings about being one with nature at this time.
This year a lot of people who normally try to escape the winter will be spending it right here in its midst and learning that it is not nearly as onerous as they once felt it to be. In fact one of them told me already that she is loving staying home. For those of us who do stay home it will even be a bit different as well with lack of one to one socializing and meeting. However we can all make the best of it by using the skills we have as humans to communicate either by the internet, mail or the telephone. Speaking of the telephone that is a long ignored aspect that we have not made use of. By calling others and talking to them we can bring a sense of cheer, do some memory hopping and perhaps provide an oasis of laughter in a dull winter day. It is such a personal thing to speak to someone and if you don’t have a phone that you can use live chat on, it’s the very next best thing.
I know that I have said it before but I cannot repeat it enough that we all have family and friends that are living alone in various situations and we need to keep a check on them this winter. To drop off goodies, mail a note of cheer or talk on the phone are all good things to keep us all connected. We need to reinforce that no one needs to be alone in this winter. In fact some of our friends are doing ZOOM meets once a week with good friends all over the continent…raising a glass or two as they visit virtually.
Sharing points of view after watching various programs on Netflix or Amazon is another good way to exchange thoughts. Imagine if we could be meeting them at a movie theatre and then going for coffee to chat about the film. This can open a new vein of talk with others that are far away. Starting a virtual book club is another as I have done with two of my friends. We read the same books then talk in whichever way we can to disseminate the book and its merits.
This need not be a winter of discontent. We have the power to make it a winter to remember by exercising our brains to make things better not only for ourselves but for others. We have the power to get past all this isolation by being responsive caring human beings. By placing others first we can feel gratified and lift our own spirits at the same time. When you consider that our ancestors lived through pandemics, two world wars, a Depression, holocaust and other plagues we can certainly live through all this that we are facing. Most of us live in very safe situations and need to look ahead and to relish the hush that the world is in. To feel at one with nature and the universe and to support those who need our support. I for one am taking this hush as a sign that the world is needing a breath from things that sorely need a breath taken. So I am exhorting you to enjoy this hush and look ahead to brighter days in the future
A CLASS ACT with JIM PAPPAS is on CJNU 93.7 FM Mondays at 1 pm.