Thursday, December 31, 2020

A New Year's Eve Thought and Wish

" What a wonderful thought it is that some of the
best days of our lives haven't even happened yet. "

I had full intentions to write a post during the Christmas week. I meant to chat about the holidays and share from the stack of books I've been reading, but here it is already New Year's Eve with post unwritten. Christmas, though different, was lovely. The days following have passed quietly and pleasantly in our household. We ate Christmas leftovers, nibbled on delicious cookies and other treats, had Scrabble tournaments for two, went for walks, read our books, watched movies.... 


"When fog invades the plains,
everything disappears; everything but fog!
When loves invades the minds,
everything disappears; everything but love!"
MEHMET MURAT ILDAN, Turkish Author and Playwright

We even took a drive one foggy morning to the nearby Elk Island National Park. Families were out with their kids, suited in ski pants and Covid masks. 'Twas delightful to watch them sledding down the hill, hurrying back up to soar down again. I felt a gush of nostalgia as I watched and remembered my own happy childhood tobogganing in the deep winter till we were frozen like popsicles yet not wanting to quit. The memory was so fresh in my mind, I felt in want of hot cocoa when we got home, even though my toes weren't the frozen ones.

We thought we might spot some bison out there, but they and every other wild creature were absent in full force. Rick figured they'd booked off Christmas and 'to heck with the tourists'. Perhaps they hunkered down somewhere because of the fog. I loved being in the midst of the foggy foggy dew—I was enchanted by the feeling of other-worldliness. As soon as I saw that lone tree (above), I knew I had to capture it against the muted shroud of grey—its bent trunk speaking of endurance through seasons of wild storms, wind battered but still standing. To me, it's a perfect picture for the storm our world has endured in 2020. As a child, I would have found such a picture utterly bleak, stark, and lonely, one that was to be avoided for something brighter and cozier. But I have since come to recognize there is a wild beauty in starkness. And rather than shun it, I embrace it in the moment. I'm sure Mary Oliver would have said that more poetically.

* * *

As we breathe the last few hours of this horrid virus-tossed year, I think of something Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote: "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier'... ."

Oh yes, we hope it will indeed be a happier year. For so many though, all the wishing won't make the intense pain go away, and I am so sorry it is so. I just read something Canadian singer Jann Arden wrote on her Facebook page about grieving her mom. The day she posted, it was two years since her beloved mom passed away after years of suffering with Alzheimer's. Jann shared how she missed her, but said....
"I don't mind the grief. It's like an aftershock of love. I don't mind missing her and dad. I don't mind the pangs or the jabs or the throbbing aches that stretch across the muscles in my chest. I just don't mind it. It's lovely in its own way. Makes me keep trying to live."
Those lines speak to me....that she doesn't mind the grief, that it's like an aftershock of love, that it reminds her to keep trying to live. I am not sure why that gives me comfort, but it does. I'm not grieving personally for anyone at the moment, and I'm not in a sad place for myself—life is sweet and good for me these days—but I do find myself carrying in my heart the pain of others, for the folks who have lost their lives and those who lost loved ones and remain in their now-shattered world. I so hope and pray they will one day find a measure of peace and comfort and eventually discover new reasons to face their futures less bleakly. A little bit happier.

"Lord, grant me peace above all else no matter
the circumstances I may face this year."

As we stand on the front porch of this brand new year, I am grateful for your company as we share this journey together. I remind myself and you, should you need it, to keep watching for those glimpses of heaven glimmering with hope that 'beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet' (Rosamunde Pilcher). Facing the New Year with still so much uncertainty and trepidation, we must take 'courage, dear hearts' (C.S. Lewis).

Happy New Year! And in the words of a dear old neighbour who was wont to say when the world felt decidedly upside down, "Here's to better days ahead." That's my heart wish for you in 2021!

With love,

Photo credits:
(Top) Image by Mary Gorobchenko from Pixabay
(Middle) Tree in Fog by Brenda C Leyland 
(Bottom) Image by Hans Benn from Pixabay


  1. Smiles and Happy New Year. Thank you for making my life better with your beautiful words..

  2. Happy New Year, Brenda and Rick. This week between Christmas and New Year's goes by so quickly. I've so appreciated your gentle words and inspiration throughout the past year and look forward to more beautiful posts from you in 2021.

  3. Happy New Year to you. I love that lone tree in the fog. Beautiful !

  4. Another beautiful post, Brenda! Sending Happy New Year wishes to you and yours!

  5. Brenda as always your post inspires us to seek goodness and live in hope. Your photo of the tree is certainly a perfect portrait of perseverance. God bless you. Believing that 2021 will bring us a more joyful year. May it be so for you. Hugs!

  6. What an amazing shot of that tree! Happy New Year!

  7. The Anne Frank quote...goodness. I assume she wrote that when they were hiding in the attic. That's an amazing & heartbreaking quote.

    Any time I've felt overwhelmed I think about those who've lived through war in their own home town & remember we really have no place to complain at all.

  8. Dear Brenda. This was a most poignant post. You are a talented writer who paints gorgeous mind pictures with your eloquent words.I wish you a truly awesome new year of life, with lots of reading, writing, relaxation time, and love. Hugs. Susan

  9. So many lovely quotes! Such good reminders.

    Here's to happier days ahead, indeed!

  10. Dear Brenda, I wish you and Rick a very peaceful and happy New Year. We have no idea what this year will bring, but can only go on hoping and praying, and 'watching for glimpses of Heaven'.

  11. Yes, to better days ahead. A blessed New Year to you and your Beloved.

  12. Brenda, here's to better days ahead! I'm so glad you are in a season of sweet and good. :) I am learning to look for the sweet and good in my days.

  13. Dear Brenda ~ Thanks once again for a lovely post. The first and last quotes were very encouraging and the photo of the lone tree wonderful. Life may cause us to bend a bit or a lot, but, may we be resilient. God's continued blessing on you and yours ~ FlowerLady

  14. Good morning, Brenda. Such a beautiful post this foggy morning. I do love fog and always have. To me, it places a hush over everything and offers such peace. Your blog filled with your lovely words and writing was a blessing this past year. I am grateful for you and our friendship, even if it is virtual. Looking forward to your post this new year and wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!

  15. Happy New Year, Brenda!

    Even though I did NOTHING during my holiday break, the 2 weeks just flew by!

    I'm a big fan of Jann Arden so thank you for sharing her beautiful words.

    The bar is low for 2021. We have nowhere to go but up! Enjoy the first week of 2021!

  16. That was a really lovely post. May 2021 bring you all kinds of joy and happiness. I think all us bloggers have written along a similar vein.
    I really perked up when I read you went out to Elk Island Park. I used to go there nearly every weekend from late spring to fall to hike. I'd often take a picnic along to eat afterwards or sometimes just head back home for a BBQ. But I had never been there in winter. It must have been so beautiful in that fog.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo