After reading a few beautifully coined year-end letters expressing gratitude for various activities and accomplishments during this year of extreme variance, I felt certain that my life defined by the mundane. But then I started thinking beyond my isolated environment and realized this past year has been anything but mundane.
There was/is a worldwide pandemic which continues to affect every nation. Businesses closed, millions lost their job, their income, their livelihood, and many lost their lives. There was social confrontations erupting due to the jumbled messages presented by the current administration regarding the health precautions required to curb the pandemic. There were worldwide protests and riots after the George Floyd murder and the demand for police reformation. There were political protests before and after the presidential election exhibiting divisiveness, fear, resentment, and anger, fueled by the unconscionable falsehoods stated by the sitting president regarding voter fraud which, time and time again, were proven unfounded.
When considering of the turmoil of 2020 the mundane seems rather attractive. Perhaps a mundane life in the midst of upheaval is actually evidence of universal truth – that peace, kindness, gentleness, patience, beauty, goodness, honesty, love – the principles of man’s existence – are present and perpetual, and they offer hope for progress.
So, in honor of the mundane, here are some of my activities for 2020:
I painted several dozen kindness rocks and planted them on trails for others to find. I created a Facebook page so that, when found, pictures could be taken of the rocks and posted on line. There are now 87 followers at woodburyrocksmn. Many posted how fun it was to find the rocks and that they would re-hide them for others to find. It was heart-warming to see the expression of young children who found the rocks, as though they discovered a hidden treasure. Here are a couple of quotes and photos I pulled from my woodburyrocksmn Facebook page.
Found this one on one of the trails at Lowry nature center (carver county park reserve) @woodburyrocks
It’s heading North!
We found you at the Minnesota Zoo!!
We found this in Labanon Hills park in Eagan. Moved it to an island on lake Minnetonka, hope someone finds it!
Next, I learned to use power tools and built a bird house. I had fun doing this project with my favorite guy, but the birdhouse is really ugly.
I learned to cut hair, not mine, and no photos allowed even though I think I did a pretty good job. OK, maybe I trimmed one side slightly higher than the other, but it wasn’t that bad, really…
I read more books in 2020 than I’ve read in the past 5 years. My favorite author continues to be Louise Penny, but I did find other authors that I enjoyed as well.
I have created numerous inspirational posters for a storefront window and hope to be added to the “approved providers” list of designers for this franchise.
I have maintained contact with friends and family at a time when it would be easy to let people slip away. I enjoyed socially distanced picnics when it was so cold we had to wear heavy coats and wrap up in blankets, but we’re Minnesotans and that’s what we do.
I discovered new trails in regional parks and a picturesque old barn. I planned outings to watch the sunset.
I baked more bread than I ever have before. And lots of cookies.
We enjoyed the holidays even though we had to be creative in our celebrations.
So, as you can see, nothing really significant happened in my life and for this I am very grateful. In a year of copious perplexities, contentions, and concerns, the mundane was an oasis of peace and quiet, of gratitude and love. Perhaps it’s the mundane that supports the heart with lasting comfort.