So, this is 2022.
For the past couple years it’s somehow felt like the entire world was put on pause, but also things have been changing so rapidly. As my daughter is getting older (she’s two now!), my thoughts keep lingering on what questions she’ll have about this time in history. And I don’t just mean the pandemic. Maybe she’ll ask about it, but I never asked my grandpa about the Spanish Flu…
Maybe she’ll be a movie buff and want to know about the Avengers premier or when Victoria was pregnant with her when we saw Avengers Endgame. Sometimes I wonder if she’ll want to know why we moved from Oregon to Arizona in the middle of the pandemic, or if she’ll even care.
I hope she doesn’t ever remember the tough times that these few years have brought, though, while we’ve been praying that people stop dying, that the economy finds level ground again. Like all parents, I hope that our little girl needs for nothing, and that there’s never a time that she has a need we can’t fulfill.
It feels like drinking room temperature tap water when I’m thinking over these past two years. I would describe it unequivocally as the happiest time of my entire life, so far, but there’s so many shades of gray singeing the edges of the memories. We had our daughter, made a big move somewhere as a family for the first time, started new jobs we love, and Victoria and I were able to take an incredible three year anniversary trip thanks to our family. Surrounding all of that, though, was news of loss, financial hardships affecting us and swaths of the population, and a tumultuous social climate.
I don’t feel guilty about our joy in such a hard time for the world, but I’m definitely more timid about sharing it than I would have been otherwise. Because I know that sharing my joy might cause pain for someone else, and sharing my hardships will seem tone deaf to those who have had it much worse than we have.
This isn’t the usual boisterous New Years post I make every year, but I’m also weeks late for posting it! Instead, I’m simply feeling reflective, and I’m tentatively excited for 2022. It feels like the tide is finally shifting again. Even as some dark corners still remain, I believe a bright light is turning on this year to cast out the shadows. Of course, there are some of us who will need time to heal and some who may not be there to see the light turn on… For the latter, it’s our duty to persevere, and to set out boldly with their names on our hearts.
As long as a bunch of celebrities make another video poorly singing classic rock to us again, I think we’ll be okay.
As always, I want to share the top three posts in the year 2021. They are as follows, please take a read if you’d like. There is one outlier, though! A post I made back in January 2018 about folk heroes was getting tons of hits in 2021. I have no idea why, but maybe you can tell me: Don’t be afraid to comment, share, and like!
Top Posts of 2022
#1: Short Story: Grace and Courage:
“He was a sweet man, I’ll give him that,” Maribell whispered. “Nothing much in the face and nothing left for him in the estate.”
“Maribell Jones, you hold your tongue,” her mother snapped at her, deep, unforgiving wrinkles sagging her face.
“Quite right, Mrs. Jones,” said Mrs. Gravy to Maribell’s mother. “Quite right, indeed. Such a tongue would be cut out in years passed. I’m taken aback, I say. I’m utterly unnerved by your tongue, Maribell.”
“And I,” Mrs. Jones agreed. The matrons nodded in disdain together. Maribell rolled her eyes, looking to her friend for support. Alice only giggled and said nothing.
“Honestly, Alice, I wish you’d back me up,” Maribell hissed.
#2: The 100th Post!
To everyone who has subscribed, read along, and stuck with me these past five years, thank you so much. This blog has been the most incredible creative space, and the community I’ve seen gather to read the writings here is something truly special. Hearing the stories of people connecting to and feeling touched by the life stories, commentary, fiction, and poetry I sprinkle all over the blog is one of the main reasons, if not the main reason, I’ve kept writing while life has gotten busier and busier all around me. Now I know, and you know, that no matter what comes our way, be it marriage, parenthood, or a global pandemic, I’ll keep writing and keep coming back to this space to share time with you, the readers.
#3: Top Nine Folk heroes
This week’s Top Ten is none other than a Top Nine! And it’s about folk heroes from around the world. Folklore and folktales are some of my favorite reading because they’re stories that aren’t afraid to be themselves. I’m still taking college classes (only until I finish at the end of the year, God be willing), and this week, one of my classes is looking closer at folk heroes, albeit mostly American ones. I was inspired reading about Pecos Bill and decided to look into the stories and legends revolving around some folk heroes I haven’t heard about for years. These are the briefly told, often comic or tragic stories about my nine favorite folk heroes (purposely excluding Davy Crockett because, well, he’s not one of my favorites…).