(HOST) Commentator Henry Homeyer likes to take an occasional break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season – to think about the best things in life – most of which aren’t really "things" at all.
(HOMEYER) Each year during the holiday season I like to pause to reflect on my blessings. It’s a busy time of year, but I believe that time spent reviewing the year and counting blessings is important.
I feel lucky in so many ways. I share my life with loved ones, including two lovely grandchildren. I have friends who are kind and loyal. I share space with a cat who tolerates me – and two dogs who think I’m perfect. I have good health, and most of my teeth!
I live in an old house with big windows. They allow the sun to pour in each morning, illuminating the space and lifting my spirits on days when they need lifting. I make my living doing what I like best – writing and gardening. My garden allows me to eat well using my own home-grown organic ingredients much of the year. I have good eyesight.
Each day in the warmer months I enjoy the sights and fragrances of flowers – from March’s snowdrops to June’s peonies to October’s fall crocus. I have the ability – like my dogs – to eat almost anything. I’m still savoring the flavors of my homegrown Brussels sprouts and kale fresh from the garden. My freezers are full of tomatoes and squash and greens. My root cellar has enough potatoes and celeriac to hold me until next spring. I also like to pause to consider what I can do in this season to help others. On a one-on one basis, I like to call or visit friends and acquaintances that live alone and may be feeling sad or lonely at this time of year. Nothing warms the heart like a cup of tea with a friend. I’m lucky to be a free-lancer who doesn’t have a day job that requires me to be locked in an office so I can go visiting whenever I like.
But I recently slipped and fell on a grassy slope, breaking my fibula – that little bone on the outside of the lower leg. Still, this too, made me realize how blessed I am. Yes, I have some pain and reduced mobility. But I recognize that my situation is temporary, and that there are many people who suffer worse pain every day for years – with no relief in sight. And there are people who will never be mobile again. My injury makes me more appreciative of my normal mobility. Yes, I count my blessings.
But life is full of uncertainty. I lost my sister unexpectedly last year at the age of 65 but now her memory reminds me to seize the day – to go outside while the sun shines, and to take the time to savor what my garden – and my life – has to offer.