count your blessings

February 4th

I am sat in my home with the sun streaming in, above me is a ceiling and then a roof. In the kitchen there is food and the fire is banked for the day. The smell of turf occasionally wafts into the room from the range and a second or two of panic gives way to that inner peace once more.

The van is grounded for the week, which means I am also grounded. What a blessing! I get to sit in my comfortable surroundings, aware of nature outside and my children busy doing their own thing. In this rural part of Kerry there is silence, not the silence of marital discord or the silence imposed by a courtroom judge, but rural quiet.

The branches are swaying with leaves rustling as they turn from green to red & gold, some birds have already left but the ones that are going to stay for the winter are choosing prime locations close to the birdfeeders but far enough away from the feline terrors that lurk below. Once or twice a day a tractor might trundle along, the occupant in no hurry at all.

The rays of sunshine show the dust on the windows and trace the outline of many spiders webs and yet still I sit aware of it all but contentment fills my every pore so there is no compunction to remove the dust or web. I sit counting my blessings, one by one.

Each time the panic rises with the wisps of smoke I am momentarily transported to ten months ago when the smoke inhaled might not have ended well, I remember the kitten who saved me and I smile widely. With each branch sway, I think of the time before clocks, when there was light and dark, night and day, simpler hard times when light meant to work and dark meant to rest. There is a rhythm to the swaying – left, right, left and then slowly back to the first position. Tick tock tick pause tick tock tick repeat.

Smudge is blessed to have the ignorance of youth as I sit in the worry of age. But worry is also a blessing, it shows thought process and imagination, perhaps a little too much at times but it shows a willingness to be open to the possibilities and coping skills to recognise blessings in the direst of news. Worry is a planning tool, well it is for me. I like to know what might happen and have a quick to-do list for each eventuality. My mind has space for it and I don’t encourage it to worry aimlessly, there is always a purpose in the “what ifs?” of life.

I am so blessed to have this small home on the side of a hill, to have silence, to have food in my belly and fire in my heart. God loves me (He loves you too!) and I love Him and together we count my blessings, one, two, three.

22 ‘Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
26 Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than[n] the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,

on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

Genesis 49