Friday, February 04, 2005

Goodbye Nipper!

Nipper did pass away peacefully in her sleep. We woke up to check on her yesterday morning and though the soft, furry little body was still there, the spark was gone along with her life's breath.

I have just finished washing her cage pieces and taking it apart to put away until we add another little furry bundle to our lives in a few months. It was hard to do and yet wonderful closure as well. Harder yet is to see her box every time I open the freezer.

I can hear the “ewwws” right now. It will be winter here for quite a few more months and the ground is far too frozen for a proper burial. I had wanted to take Nipper’s body out to the vast woods near our house and find a little hollow beside a tree to place her in and put a nice rock over the body. She’d always tried so hard to escape while she was alive that I thought she’d appreciate being in the wide outdoors as a final escape... but the kids figured out that some of the other things in the woods might eat their beloved Nipper.

I tried to explain about the body just being a shell... I tried the “Circle of Life” kind of thing from Lion King about food chains... but instead, Nipper is now tucked in a little cardboard box, carefully shrouded in tissue, with a label to mark the box like a headstone. Erin even illustrated around my words.

I finally had to make a drawing to go with my website update because it was such good therapy to draw a dragon cradling a little hamster in her claws as she cries.

Now if I could just stop talking to the hamster that is no longer here.....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

To Everything There Is A Season....

Our lives are such a tapestry of light and dark threads, weaving in and out of our life’s design. Today contained so many joys and sorrows, frustrations and blessings that it reminded me how unique and precious each collection of 24 hours truly is. It never passes this way again in quite that combination.

To everything there is a season and sometimes those seasons collide in such holy paradoxes.

...Like finding out that a colleague’s daughter had lost her battle with cancer on the same day Bethany discovered buds on some of our bushes (pretty unheard of here in the Maritimes this early)

...Like hearing some exciting news from my brother and sharing all the joys of their impending addition to the family this summer, but having to cut the call short as my daughters realized that our hamster was dying.

...Like cuddling...really cuddling a tiny, furry body in my hands with ease for the first time because she has always been so hyper and great at biting.

...Like taking such joy in working on an illustration project about such gloomy subjects like Stress, Anxiety and Depression.

... Like working on an anthem at choir tonight that had a whole section in a minor key that made the major resolve that much more beautiful at the end.

...Like hearing from another friend that she too has doubts sometimes because the stuff she creates just looks like “her stuff” to her instead of like the artwork she admires that others create.

...Like feeling far away from family today only to have my sister call with the same urge to hear a voice and feel close despite the miles. Would we have such quality talks if we were in the same city or would we each get busy with our own schedules?

Without contrasts, everything would be a dull average grey existence. Without opening our hearts to love, despite the risk of loss, we would never experience the richness or depth of feelings that we can when we are willing to take risks... to dream impossible dreams.... and to never stop reaching for those stars.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Being A Ding-A-Ling...

It was two hours that I could have used to do work tonight... but ever since they switched the hand chime practice to Monday nights, right after the girls have Junior Choir, Erin and I have joined the Belles. We played for the first time on Sunday with the full choir and it turned out so well that everyone broke into applause!!

It is fun to learn a new skill. Frustrating at times, but also incredibly joyful and fun. I did learn that I need to ring my chimes left handed. By the end of the day, my right hand is tired from drawing, mousing or stitching and I don’t want to risk any injuries.

I needed the joy of losing myself for that time tonight before I hunker down to finish this illustration assignment that has landed right amid preparations for Nashville due to the client taking Christmas to relax instead of meeting deadlines.

I almost think that we should have to try something new every season... or every year to keep us fresh and having fun. When you think of the awesome amount of information that children learn all the time, perhaps getting our older grey matter to move a bit more would keep us all younger in mind, body and spirit.

I think I like being a ding-a-ling.... though some of those who love me would say that I always have been one!