Writer - Author - Poet
Writer - Author - Poet

Joni Mitchell’s 1970s song Big Yellow Taxi has a famous line I like to repeat to myself, especially when I feel a little melancholy about things, about not knowing what we have until its gone. This week those words seem truer to me today than they ever have for it appears many things I have cherished over the years are diminishing.

Last summer, after an extreme bout of hot weather, I wrote a blog post titled Water and how its value seemed to be rising exponentially. I discussed how filled lakes, streams, and aquifers were drying up and how water, once something I took for granted, appeared more precious than ever, especially clean fresh water. It looks as if I could write the same blog, maybe, with an added urgency.

Last winter, I wrote another blog about the importance of my good health if I wanted to continue to enjoy snowshoeing on a beautiful winter morning, planting bulbs in the spring, or going for a long hike on a warm summer day. I ended the blog by comparing life without good health is like a river without water. Those words feel more spot-on this year than last.

Lately, I’ve also had a few instances in which a few friends have been confronted with their mortality – no joke serious illnesses. Their health is in rapid decline. It’s sad to watch their demise. It’s sadder still knowing that there is not much I can do about it.

However, there has been a side-effect to all this gloomy stuff like climate change, a dwindling fresh water supply, sickness, and death. I find myself welcoming all the little things in my life. I mean really appreciating them: the fawn who stayed a while in our lower meadow this morning; a large flock of bluebirds sitting atop the mullein, their azure-blue wings dancing in the sunlight; laughing with other friends, their health intact, at a party last night; the long walk I just came back from, climbing the hills, my breath in tandem with my heart.

It’s probably correct, that I will most likely not know how much abundance is in my life until it is gone, but I can certainly try to do my best to stay healthy, cherish each moment and say I love you more often.

“…mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” A. Schopenhauer

How did you find solace this week?


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