This holiday season I am reflecting on my blessings. Home, where farm fields roll off into the distance. The hills are just starting to green up from the recent rains and the oaks, pepper, and acacia trees have opened their branches in thanks. The pine tree hides a barn owl’s nest keeping the mating pair safe until they swoop down over the tiled patio.
At night coyotes yip at the constellations in the cold December sky. Orion, the Big Dipper, the Pleiades, and the great W Cassiopeia twinkle overhead as the winter moon waxes and wanes. A feral black rabbit hops in my front yard nibbling on the grass or carrots I’ve left out. Doves coo from the creek bed as teenagers skateboard in the distance.
I see memories in my back yard: Nick’s tree house fort with the monster drawings, Jess’s playhouse where we used to have tea parties, the chicken coop where they bawked and begged for scratch, the old hot tub we used as a duck and goose pond, the garden with corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, and little feet. The rabbit hutch my daughter used to crawl into where she’d curl around the bunnies. A thousand hugs, a few tears, the place where my children grew to adulthood.