What’s Next?

Send to Kindle

The view from upstairs just a few weeks ago

Today is sunny and gorgeous.  Early this morning the grass was cut. But the weather people are calling for snow on Saturday.  Maybe not a lot, but snow none-the-less. On Monday there could be more white stuff.  This is Virginia for heaven’s sake.  What’s up?

Like the weather, the past year has been a muddle of activity focused on constant change. Time has rushed on, dissapearing into the fabric of life. But there are loose ends everywhere. As soon as I tuck one in, others pop up. I search for a place to anchor each one, but it’s not that simple. There are always loose ends. That is nothing new. There is no controlling where and when they will appear and at times the process of weaving them back in is daunting.  Like housekeeping it’s an endless task. We vacuum the floors, then someone comes in with grass clippings all over their shoes. 

I had thought by now I’d be completely settled into my new home.  In the past moving has always been easy, but this time around it’s been a long, slow process. I’d planned on having my studio up and running by now, but some kind of neurological disorder is causing severe pain in my shoulders especially in my dominant arm on the right.  Sometimes it’s fine, other times I have to stop what I’m doing, ice the pain away, and start again.  

Working on the computer is especially difficult at times and I’ve had to quit in the middle of writing, so my blog posts have been few and far between. The beading project I restarted a few weeks back hasn’t progressed. But this morning I’m feeling quite good. I’m doing what I can and hoping to get this post finished before whichever nerve is giving me problems starts screaming.

That same view today!

Like the weather, my moods have been high and low.  But as every cherry tree and magnolia sends forth new blooms, as they do at this time of year, I open up along with them.  I am visiting local nurseries and choosing pots to plant flowers in. I’ve had a tiny area out front cleared of shrubbery and once spring really arrives, will put in herbs … rosemary, sage, basil, lemon balm, and others.  I’ll load up one of my big, new pots with mint, as it runs wild in the garden and easily takes over.

And the birds … oh so, beautiful. Yesterday tree swallows arrived trying to take over several of the blue bird boxes that the blue birds have already started nesting in.  The gold finches are now brilliantly gold, having shed their dull winter colors.  Every day more arrive adding their voices to the morning song fest.

It’s a promising season.

I’ll not let a bit of snow or cold rain stop me
from continuing to move forward, loose ends and all.
After all, that is what life is.

It is not one big, continually blooming rose garden.
It’s an ever changing landscape filled with peaks and valleys.

Sun, snow, joy, pain, and sorrow are always on the horizon.
What we do with them makes all the difference
in how we live our lives.


  1. You have poetry (your own!), and birds, blue and gold. Spring will come, warming your achy bones.

    About moving? Give it a year or more. I didn’t feel settled until Thanksgiving a year after we moved in August. You are still navigating. Take comfort in the fact you won’t have a major move ever again! 🙂

  2. Joan — I love the word picture you painted:

    “But as every cherry tree and magnolia sends forth new blooms, as they do at this time of year, I open up along with them.”

    • Joan Rough says:

      You are absolutely right, Marian, and so appreciate your kind words. I can’t even imagine moving again.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thanks so much, Laurie. This time of year with all of the trees in Virginia blooming is so beautiful. One can’t help but be a part of that opening!

  3. Joan, moving ranks right up there with one of life’s greatest stressors! Lovely post on the power of hope in the midst of all these challenges. Yes, spring will come. Love your poem. May you soon find relief from those achy muscles.

    • Yes, Kathy, Moving is one those dreaded activities, especially as one gets older. We did get snow on Saturday, but it didn’t stick and there are more snow showers predicted for tomorrow. I take comfort in the fact that I don’t get the snows you folks get up north.