As I stood behind my mom in the frigid air on New Years Eve,
with my arms wrapped around her and our heads together watching
the fireworks, she began to sing “oh-h tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy, oh-h tidings of comfort and joy”. She sings little
bits of songs often, but I had never heard her sing this before. As I
joined in, the four little words “let nothing you dismay” settled
into my heart and mind. A good motto for the
year ahead, I thought.

You see, our whole family had decided in late November that
my mom would be better off at home with us than she was at the
assisted-living place. Our original plan was that she be with us here
at the farm and at her house with my brother for the holidays, and
then she would go back to AL for as much of January as we needed to
get our home and lives in order. We wanted to fit in a little get-away
for my deario and me, an overnight at an inn near the railroad tracks
for a special outing with our son, and the big work of making
our home as uncluttered and safe and arranged for my mom’s
comfort as we could make it.

Her fall changed all of that, and we have been on
a real rollercoaster ride…tho’ I can’t say that any of it
has been happily thrilling. The combination of dementia
and recuperation has been deeply challenging to me, and
to my mother, and I admit to being dismayed often, especially
in the dark nights. I am so grateful for the moments
of peace and rest, but am continually surprised
at how much life has changed… in such a short time.
Finding the sweetness and a calm center will be my
work, but I will admit that it is a struggle
at the moment.

And then there is Small Meadow Press.
I let everyone at the last show I had in early December
know about the changes ahead….but it has been harder
to announce it here and at my website. First, hard to find
the time, and now, hard to find the words. I have had
seven wonderfully successful and gratifying years offering
my creations to the world, but more importantly,
making connections with so many lovely people. But
that season is over-for now-and a new one is beginning.
I had thought that I would be able to make and offer
things now and then, and perhaps begin on another
creative dream that has been on my mind for a long
time, and would work very well from home….but
I cannot see ahead at this moment.

I am beginning to see that a way through the pain
and confusion that are now a part of our days might be
to really focus on just a few things…making our home
safe and cosy and finding new rhythms, nourishing our
bodies with good, slowly-prepared foods, finding ways
to rest and exercise and just take care of ourselves in
this new place we find ourselves. Of course, I am
gathering help and resources around me, too, and
will depend upon continued connection here
and anywhere else I can get it to keep
me inspired and grounded.

Please write and stay in touch,
and I will do the same when I am able.
“Let nothing you dismay”…
at least not for very long.