Well, this is the last time I will be writing 2021 on a reflection. The New Year is upon us! I don’t know where time flies, but all of us are on the fast jet one way or another! I want to do something different this year end and that is send you a story that my friend Joni Woelfel, author several books and articles, sent me as a Christmas and New Year wish. It is whimsical and delights the heart. I pray you read it with the same joy it was written with and read by me. And so, the tale begins…
Recently a blizzard blasted in and buried us. Now, being a type A person when it comes to shoveling edges, I did the sidewalk beyond our glass kitchen door and stood back to see what animals would come. It was nearly midnight, and I had our Edison lights and spotlights on, with food sprinkled about for the hungry critters.
Keep in mind that Pixie, our fifteen-year-old, black motley alley cat lives on the back deck. She has it rough with her heated cat house, electrically warmed water dish and being fed five times a day. She sits in her house and looks over the feeding area like an elderly, crabby lioness….
I was doing dishes and noted a sweet woodland mouse scurrying around on the sidewalk eating scraps. It was brown with a white belly, and I wondered how it ever survived all the neighborhood cats that visit. The next time I looked out, Pixie was inches away from having it in her clutches while the little mouse frantically dashed around trying to escape. I immediately threw open the door and shouted at Pixie to leave it alone. My voice startled her enough to pause and the mouse ran away to freedom. Hurray!
Soon however, when I looked out again, there it was, back to scrounging for food on the sidewalk with Pixie glaring from her house. I hurried outside and down the steps calling, “Run, Mousie, run!” like the line from Forest Gump. The mouse took off and Pixie shot me a disgruntled look. Knowing I had to think up a solution, it occurred to me that in order to save the mouse, I should put food for it behind the block retaining wall where Pixie can’t see it. Simple right? It’s only been a few days, but so far, so good. Although the jury is out on the fate of the little mouse, I am wishing it the best of luck.
This scenario reminds me of the tension the world has been through since the COVID pandemic began, which can seem like a predator out to get us. All we want is to be happy, fed, to tend others, do our work and be assured of safety… yet for many that is not the case. Important, encouraging books have been written about all that, but sometimes the simple imagery and symbolism of a mouse just trying to live an ordinary life in the midst of a treacherous unfolding winter with prowlers lurking portrays it all.
We all get that; we understand the emotions and relate. Perhaps most striking is the universal bond of how deeply personal and unique the journey is for each of us. It makes me think of the little mouse, who sometimes must wake up in its den and hope for just one day that it doesn’t have to be afraid, on edge and vigilant. For just one day with freedom from stress and worry.
Using Joni’s words, I would like to wish you “comfort, peace, joy strength, vision, energy, rest and hope. In the New Year may love, courage and small ordinary miracles surround you and all of God’s sacred creatures”.
Happy 2022, my friends,