Wandering In

My cat is sitting on my feet as I type from my cozy bed, where I’ve retreated because it’s cold as heck, today.  Not even 15 degrees at nearly 11 am, and the sun is shining. In self defense, I wrapped up in sweater and quilts.

Every December, I go through the accomplishments and failures and recognitions of the year. As I do so now, I see that it’s been a challenging year in many ways, marked by the loss of a friend, a dearly loved relative, and….at last, and as we knew was coming, my beloved Jack on the last day of summer.  His death was as good as one could ask for a 14 year old dog–he had a stroke at lunchtime and it was plain I had to let him go. I was able to hold him and tell him I loved him as he departed, which is the great blessing we have with pets.  It was less kind for my uncle, but he, too, traveled with grace and peace to the other side.  It was sudden, which means it takes a bit to encompass, but I know he wouldn’t want me wallowing, so I won’t.  In time, I hope I can write something that does his life and influence in my life the justice it deserves. In the meantime, I’ll focus on joy.

The joy is in writing, and in teaching; the joy is in granddaughters, and the joy is in the anticipation of a big trip coming up in the spring. The joy is in you, in painting and in the art in the world.  Joy is in the first snowfall and the last leaf falling on my head.  The joy is in this photo of Jo and I at Uluru seven or eight years ago. 11334232_880057308751526_7369459254625975255_o

The joy is in many things, if only we look.

Where’s the joy in your life?

6 thoughts on “Wandering In

  1. Sarah

    I am so sorry for your recent losses & it seems that there are no words to convey the depth of our sorrow & empathy at times. I unexpectedly lost my Dad in August and our family is still reeling at the suddeness of having a loved one ripped away so soon. I am seeking joy with my children; a quiet cup of coffee; looking at the stars & sunsets; contemplating the passage of time. I also find joy in re-reading my favorite books like everything you’ve ever written & I thank you. I hope the coming year will bring you much peace & happiness.

    • Barbara Samuel

      Sarah, thank you. I’m so sorry for your loss. Stars and sunsets are good ideas.

  2. Sue Danic

    Losing people and pets is devastating. My thoughts are with you.

    It’s been a tough few months: moving parents into a retirement home (their choice) and selling their home which has been in the family since before World War 1. There’s never been so much turmoil in my life. Moving hoarders out of their sanctuary is fraught with tension and outright fighting.

    So, finding joy is really important. My adult children continue to be a joy. They are smart, kind and resourceful. I couldn’t be more proud. The Christmas tree loaded with ornaments they’ve made makes me smile daily (despite the whole thing toppling over once). A cup of tea and a good book make me feel safe and content. Doing aquafit and walking most days (while listening to books) makes me feel strong and calm. Both are a sense of joy.

    Moving my “tiny house” safely to its new home on a friend’s property gave me the most joy this month.

    • Barbara Samuel

      You have a very zen tone in all of this, Sue. Thanks for spreading the calm.

  3. Patti


    I’m sad to hear of your losses this year. I love your books and blog. I just wanted to drop a line to share the joy I have once a week when I volunteer at my friend’s cat sanctuary. The cats are hungry for attention and I never have enough hands to pet and cuddle all of them. They bring me so much joy with their purrs and head bonks. Stay warm and I look forward to reading more from you!

    • Barbara Samuel

      Love that Idea, Patti. I’ve been looking for some volunteer ideas for the new year, and will add this to the list.

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