I really used to enjoy my early morning dog walks when our dog was still alive. Now I sometimes take those walks, just on my own. I love how when you have lived in the same place for awhile you get to know it well. You know which trees blossom early, which lilac has the purplest flowers, which gardens you would love to have, etc.
You also get to know your neighbours, you know how long your children can scream on the trampoline before one of them comes to complain, you know which one has chickens and you can get eggs in a pinch. (I even have one lovely neighbour who disposed of a dead rotting rat for me). You also know who you can call for a cup of sugar, or a cup of coffee or who you can drop all your children off to when your doctor's "receptionist" diagnoses your husband with a 'heart attack'. (Read: Torn muscle, after 3 hours at emerg!)
We have now lived in the same fantastic neighbourhood for over 2 years, that is alot for us, we who have moved more that a group of fugitives on the run from the law. We have moved about 13 times in 15 years!!!! I am now a wiz at packing, decluttering, not so much. Having been here, I am really enjoying the feeling of being a part of a community. We have made great friends. We have met some wonderful people. I enjoy watching the seasons ebb and flow. I know that during the winter we don't see everyone as much, but as the weather warms there will be plenty of afternoons in the Adirondacks sipping bubbly or g&ts. I know the sandbox will be full of children and the paddling pool will be the center point of the garden. I know I will clean up the mess from homemade lemonade while the children count their earnings. Those days are just around the corner, I can feel that.
As spring arrives and I begin to come out of the quagmire of January and February, I am finding more energy, more focus and a lot more motivation, now is a time where I could safely make resolutions. Perhaps, I should more deeply celebrate Chinese New Years, as it seems to resonate with my own internal calendar. And really I love the ideas of new starts, I even like to celebrate my Personal New Year on my birthday, and I feel like September is a sort of "New Year" and after all, couldn't we all use a few more chances, another chance to start fresh.
I also feel this is a great time to do some soul searching and really put into perspective the things for which we are most grateful. And as I create my list of gratitudes I find family and friends at the top. I feel very fortunate that I have a fantastic and supportive family and we live in a great community. I am often reminded that it takes a village to raise a child and I am so grateful to have found my 'village'.