“Another Year Together” was written for the holiday card I put in Robert’s Christmas stocking this year. We have had a very personally challenging 2022: sickness, surgeries, extensive dental work, unexpected expenses, and family visits cancelled by weather and illness. The whole world has had a challenging year: wars, violence, storms, fires, floods, famine, supply chain issues, inflation and financial distress, a continuing Covid 19 pandemic compounded by widespread outbreaks of several other viruses…and on and on and on..
Robert and I have met the challenges of 2022, including Hurricane Ian. Although we are a little tireder and a little older, we have survived! We have also savored the pleasures of everyday life and the blessings that came our way. Our hopes are high for a better 2023, both for ourselves and for everyone worldwide.
We wish you courage for your journey, strength to meet the challenges you encounter, hope in your heart, and peace of mind. We wish you fair weather and good fortune. May you be inspired, creative, and productive. May you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.
our life and strength and gifts that nature brings.
Restoring Our Connection to Nature
On small family farms like the dairy farm where my mother grew up and in home gardens that were the pride of my grandmother and my father, there is a profound connection to nature. People work in cooperation with nature to provide for themselves and their families.
In the time of large corporate farms, most people do not live on small family farms and raise all of the food they eat. Many people may have lost the connection to the land and to the changing seasons.
Whatever our work, wherever we live, we are a part of the cycles of nature. We can help to preserve and renew the environment. We may not be able to do everything, but there are things each one of us can do to renew our connection to the natural world.
Nearly every culture has celebrations incorporating light. Bonfires, torches, lamps, candles, fireworks…all light the way to our best selves and a better world. Diwali is a beautiful and joyous festival, but what seems extraordinary to me is its universal message…nine simple words with the power to transform the individual and the world:
“It’s a man’s world,” was the mid-twentieth-century consensus.
My mother passed several of the following outdated gems along to me:
Always let boys win if you want them to like you.
Act helpless. Let a boy be your hero and lift heavy objects for you.
Play “dumb.” Laugh at all of his jokes. Always agree with him.
Pretend to enjoy doing all the things he likes to do.
Don’t chase after boys. Make them chase after you!
Play hard to get. Never be the first to say, “I love you.”
Hide your passions. You don’t want him to think you’re “easy.”
If you “give in” to a boy, he’ll “dump” you and “kiss and tell.”
Go to college to find a husband, even though you know
you will be a homemaker after you marry.
A woman must never make more money than her husband…
His delicate pride can’t handle it.
Let a man think he’s boss…
Use “feminine wiles” to get what you want.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…
Cook all of his favorite dishes.
Men are like little boys…They like to be told
how handsome, strong, and smart they are.
Make a habit of paying exaggerated compliments to men…
It builds their fragile egos.
Men are unable to control their impulses.
Women must be the guardians of morality.
If a woman wears a short skirt and gets assaulted, it’s her fault.
Sex is something a wife must endure for the sake of her husband.
Fortunately, I never fell for any of this antiquated sexist nonsense!
Sorry, Mom, but I don’t believe in playing games.
I was paying attention when you taught me to be honest and to
“Do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”
With respect to this poem’s dubious advice, I quote Mom,
“You might as well laugh as cry!”
*Cautionary note: Some of the antiquated advice in this poem may appear to work in the short term, but some of it could come back to bite you later! Authentic relationships tend to be based on honesty and mutual respect. How long would you be willing to pretend you are enjoying a food you actually detest? How would you feel if you found out that someone was playing you? Better to be real!