Shadows In The Fog

Reader Contribution by Jack Fernard
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“Could life possibly get any busier?”

We all know what it’s like this time of year. There are countless things that need to be accomplished, social obligations to be met (some fun … others not so much), cards to be mailed, gifts to be bought — you name it! And time is always ticking down.

Being gluttons for punishment, my family and I found ourselves moving this month into a new home. With our very first bath in the upstairs tub, my wife discovered a stream of water pouring out of the living room (downstairs) light switch. Yep, it’s going to be that kind of month! Just add sagging drywall to the list of unpleasantries like wood stain spilled on the brand new carpet or a kitchen stove that makes frightening noises when the convection fan tries to turn.

Personally, I would like to think that the planets have aligned themselves against me and that my bad luck exceeds all others, but I know that’s not the case. We ALL have stories that defy the limits of belief. And they call this the most wonderful time of the year?!

I was pacing through the kitchen anxiously eyeing the fog that was keeping the solar panels of my off-grid home in ‘sleep’ mode, and musing on the futility of this festive season, when I noticed movement in the backyard. A doe was grazing, just a stone’s throw from the window I was looking through.

Being this soon after deer season, I was shocked to see her so close to the house. Excited, I called out to my three year old son who quickly came to investigate. Pressing his face against the glass, he immediately saw her hiding in the fog … as well as the buck moving like a shadow behind her.

This is why we moved here. The rat race was readily available, but my wife and I chose the road less traveled. Yes, being homesteaders comes with its challenges, but it also comes with some real blessings; blessings that can be described, but not truly understood until experienced.

And the same thing goes for the holidays. Seeing that look of surprise or even simple satisfied smile on the face of a loved one inspires a feeling that can be written about, but not truly understood until experienced. Unfortunately, these precious moments that warm our hearts can be easily missed if we’re focused too much on the ‘fog’ that, admittedly, seems intent to bury us.

So stay sharp this holiday season and try not to be overwhelmed by the weight of ‘obligations’ or ‘expectations’. I suspect that there is something truly beautiful waiting to be experienced, a moment hidden … like a shadow in the fog.

From my family to yours …

Merry Christmas!

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