At the end of last year, I regarded 2021 with a jaundiced eye. Then, I read the little gratitudes I had kept in the jar all year and realized the good that did happen and that we created. Below is a summary.
The year 2020 ended with the last night walk and 2021 started with a pilgrim smudging the labyrinth bringing in good energy. That lasted all year with regular walkers in all seasons and weather and a surprise pilgrim who had found the labyrinth on the World Labyrinth Locator. The pilgrim explained she was taking on 50 new activities and adventures through her 50s years. She had learned manual skills from her dad, set out to travel safely, and now was taking in labyrinths on her cross-country trip. The Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth was one of her Iowa connections!
Light One Candle 2.0: To honor the new administration colleagues in the Labyrinth community held a virtual service of renewal and blessing.
Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist has continued to flourish during this year of transition. People have stepped forward to serve. Board meetings run smoothly with thoughtful discussion and positive action. Members have generously contributed to projects such as the endowment that provides secure, long-term funding for our mission and the solar installation. Before the solar, we upgraded fixtures, replaced inefficient bulbs, and re-roofed. Even in the dark of the year, the electric bill plummeted from $300 in one month to $20 the next month.
Once we figured out how to socialize safely, we had occasional outings with friends, over for an outdoor meal, helping with bucking up wood. Rich took our young friend P fishing. They completed a survey at Big Dick Lake and submitted a report/scientific paper to Dr. Morris at ISU. Pretty cool for an 11-year-old. P helped place the solar lights in the labyrinth. N decided the plastic flamingos made terrific steads to ride. Periodically, I would find the “birds” in different locations around the labyrinth and knew that N and O had come by with their mom. She hiked over on snowy days, too pulling the Littles on the sled. Intrepid! We visited in MN with cousins a couple of times being careful about health protocols and enjoying Immersive Van Gogh in the fall. ZOOM calls, Firepit Fridays, Polar Pizza, Potpie Parties….we made good things happen safely. RAGBRAI at big Dick Lake was fun to see the crazy outfits people wore as we waved them on.
Weather: Hot and dry. We ended with a 15” deficit so the Gratitudes of the occasional, “Quiet, drippy day” were welcome.
Long Trips, Day Trips, and Writing:
Wow! In spite of all, we managed a trip to Alaska to see N and B. Overnighting in the Hytte, birding, Turnagain Arm, the ski slope, great food, walks, the Museum all in lovely weather. Clear, calm, frosty at night, and warm in the day. Two trips east – June and Late September early October – found us exploring new areas like the Meadowcroft-Rockshelter and Flight 93 Memorial in SW Pennsylvania. A stay at Jay Peak in northern Vermont brought New England back home. New camping areas and a wonderful meal at Punderson Lodge in a terrific rainstorm. We covered a lot of ground in Iowa exploring and writing about museums, the Cassville Ferry, Sprint Cars, cemeteries, parks, and taking in amazing wall art in Dubuque.
Readers know we have chickens and produce FB Live each month with Kelsey Spotts from Hoover’s Hatchery. These are fun and we have great conversations and share a meal after the FBLive shows. We also have a rescue bunny, Oreo, who loves to dig in the sandbox we placed on the deck. She is a mess and ten minutes later she is all cleaned up. Oreo knows to nose under the mosquito netting to get onto the deck, she is Marion’s “office assistant” faithfully sitting by the desk during computer time. She ever has a song made up for her!
We are well and 2021 although stressful, also had bright spots. These we remember to help us keep balance.