It’s coming on the festive season

by Jaqueline McLeod Rogers

How to celebrate? This time last year we couldn’t get together with friends and family because of Covid. This year, so many fellow Canadians are struggling with climate change crisis. In this post we want to ask, what, if anything, makes this still a wonderful life?

Yesterday on my walk along the beach in the Pacific North West coastal climate, I witnessed a hummingbird preening itself, Bufflehead ducks languishing in the water and a Blue Heron gliding over the trees as other birds chirped happily in the trees. The rain has stopped, for the meantime, and the birds and ducks are taking a break in the dry weather.

Speaking in the voice of the co-writer, I am happily walking through our first prairie snow, crossing paths with deer. Yesterday, I hung a suet ball from the fir tree and filled the bird feeder; this morning endless chickadees visited the feeding station. It’s balmy here– only minus 1 or 2 degrees celsius for the next few days to walk us softly into winter.

There’s much to be grateful for and many life forms to enjoy and protect. None of us can pretend we are safe in the world but maybe this should embolden us to do whatever we can to hold on to wonders that are still evident and around us, if only we look.

Issues of social justice continue to be of concern. Planetary safety is far from guaranteed. Individual lives are challenged on so many levels, yet we still need to find a way to value, and even celebrate life, human and non-human.

A real question is whether we try to enjoy and save what we have, or whether we give into the deep despair and dismay. How do we balance these two attitudes in our minds, spirit and emotions as we move through a season of winter and, yes, into a ‘new’ year?

Sherry Turkle’s new memoir raises some of these questions: what we owe to others; how kindness can be misunderstood; how we may not think about what we’ve been given or what we owe. Because it raises questions, we think it’s worth a look.

The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir: Turkle, Sherry: 9780525560098: Books -

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