It is 52 degrees outside as the sun works to warm the morning.
The landscape is shrouded in fog, with only hints of Parker mountain in the distance. From my vantage point on the front porch, I can hear the beating of bird wings as they come and go from the feeders.
And there are a pair of squirrels working the grass around the feeder pole, munching on the sunflower seeds the birds casually toss off the feeders.
With a mug of hot black coffee in my hand, I have settled in to watch the morning unfold.
Today is my second Thanksgiving since I was hospitalized with MDD. The past 19 months have been an uphill journey. Yet, I would not trade it for either of the two alternatives I felt the morning I walked into the Emergency Room and said, “I need professional help.”
“Hey look, a squirrel.”
As I look up from my laptop, I see a squirrel giving me the stink eye from just off the porch. Our porch is only a few inched above the lawn, so I am maybe 4 feet away from the squirrel. It seemed to be telling me I shouldn’t be on my own porch.
But it wasn’t in the least bit fazed by my presence.
After locking eyes momentarily, the squirrel continued to my right, hopping onto the porch, and continuing to the edge behind a planter. From there, he jumped off the side of the porch and continued down the yard towards the woods.
Being alive is once again a joy and a wonder for me.
In the depths of my depression, I saw no joy. There was only the wall I was smashed against. There was no happiness, no sadness, there was not anything at all. Just existence.
19 months later there is color and light and joy and sadness and LIFE.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in the US, I am so happy just to be here. With the Pandemic’s spread increasing in the colder weather this year will be different. We are not having a big family gathering. In fact, there will only be 4 of us around the table. However, the day will be punctuated by Zoom calls with family.
The sun has been busy.
In the time I have been writing this, most of the fog has burned away. Parker mountain is visible across the lake. More and more birds are stopping by the bird feeders, supplementing their morning breakfast. A Coopers Hawk flew across the clearing between two stands of trees and a Piliated Woodpecker crossed the opening before disappearing into the forest.
Just being in the moment this morning, enjoying the goings-on, is my self-care.
I am thankful for so much, starting with being alive. I wish the same for you and yours.