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Rays of Light

This week has been a tough one. Not for me, not really. I'm still sick, a return of the strep infection that antibiotics didn't cure from last month, and while that hasn't been a fun way to spend the last few weeks, it hasn't been the worst.

No. The worst is reserved for all those families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

The worst is reserved for all the victims who will have to learn how to piece back their lives and process the horror they endured when suddenly their world exploded around them during a sporting event.

The worst is reserved for the residents of a small Texas town that exploded before their eyes, ending lives and shattering so many more.

I know being sick while safe in bed, surrounded by family, is a luxury many families won't have with their loved ones ever again. 

It was a bad week for my friends and neigbours in America.  My heart is heavy for them. I grieve for them. For you. 

It's tough to find joy when your world is dark.

I won't offer any platitudes. I don't have any. I wish I did. 

But I will leave you with a few of the images from the past few weeks that have brought me a modicum of joy. Because one joy really does scatter a thousand griefs. Maybe my joy will help someone find theirs.


It's still snowing at my house. In fact, right now, it's snowing. There are parts of my yard where I still have over five feet of snow, waiting to melt when the warm temperatures arrive. In case you haven't checked a calendar lately, it is now past the middle of April. The warm temperatures were supposed to be here WEEKS ago. I should be jumping in mud puddles by now, watching the robins play instead of SHOVELING MORE SNOW. This is not joy inspiring for me. But the green grass and lush trees I know we'll have this year (eventually) will bring me joy. 

In other words, look at this picture and be grateful you aren't my immediate neighbour. Because if you were, I'd ask you to help me shovel. I AM SPREADING THE JOY!

My dog, Abbott, makes the DUMBEST faces. God love him, he brings me joy.

This is the stuffed bunny my mother gave each of my children for Easter. I have three of these bunnies, kicking around. Abbott has found all three. He carries them around, the ears dangling out of his mouth, and then he loves them to death. There is always a wet stuffed bunny under foot. It's all fun and games until someone steps on a slimy cold stuffed rabbit. Which I do. Regularly.

It's so damn joyous. 


*Better than stepping on Lego I suppose.*

Abbott loving one of his bunnies.

I'm a sucker for a dog and his bitches. Er, bunnies. It makes me smile every time I see him loving on one of them. 

Until I accidentally step on it, of course.


This kid shoots joy out of every pore. He is the very epitome of joy.

Knox and Abbott. Fric and Frac, version 2.0. 

You may not recognize it. It's quiet and serene. It's completely ordinary. 

Until you see the joy in one blind deaf quadriplegic little boy finding love and acceptance in his furry best friend.

Then it becomes extraordinary.

This is magic.

I hope each of you can find your own portrait of joy, your own magic, however ordinary it may seem, through the dark clouds that are hovering in your life. 

Reader Comments (25)

I love that last picture. True love, captured.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris R

Beautiful. Thank you.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

The picture of Knox and Abbott just makes me grin, inside and out. I sat here for several minutes, just staring at it. Staring at the joy and comfort each one finds in the other. Thank you for sharing them with us!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTigger

Thanks for the timely reminder, Tanis, that there is also love in this world

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOutski

Thank you! Beautiful and heartfelt, and much appreciated!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharona Zee

Thank you for caring about your southern neighbors. Your pictures of Knox & Abbott always warm my heart & make me smile...and chuckle. He's such a Doodle Dog. lol

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHuskerMama

That is extraordinary and beautiful!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndie

I needed to see this happiness today :)

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdebi9kids

Thanks for adding a little brightness to the week.

Really hope you feel better soon.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertwobusy

Oh I love this. The sun just peeked through the clouds here at my house. Coincidence? I think that's just the power of you, with some help from magic. XOXO

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

LOVE this. Any little bits of joy help!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Lovely post Tanis,

As a near neighbour in Central Alberta, I empathize with you about the snow! Spring in Alberta is a bit of a crap-shoot until ... July!!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Those last two give me the major warm fuzzies!

It's been a very bad week.
Thank you for bringing the joy!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermissloopy

So bittersweet, I guess life always is :)


April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

I really struggled with whether or not to comment but I feel like I should since its been bugging me and I thought I might get some feedback.

I, too, am devastated by the tragedy in Boston and Texas and feel for those affected immensely. However I had someone post this status the day of the marathon on Facebook, "46 killed and 200 injured in Iraq...... Pray for Boston."

I in no way mean to desensitize the situations that occurred in Boston or Texas, however has this thought not passed through anyone else's minds? There are sooooo many innocent victims being hurt and killed in Iraq and other countries (where Canadians and Americans are fighting) yet it is "war" over there and "terrorism" in America.

Regardless of the amount of casualties and injured people, shouldn't all scenarios be treated in the same regard? I understand there is a lot to do with this being "close to home" or even home itself for people, but does it make it any less of a tragedy? We are all humans after all.

Just something to think about. I think your post was absolutely lovely and I agree completely. I hurt for those affected too.

I hope this didn't come across as being too forward or rude - I definately did not intend it to! :)

Your pictures made me smile. Thanks for sharing!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

That last picture is magic. Thanks for sharing. Sorry about the snow :(

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCandace

Love Knox & the dog!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrandeMocha

Thank you, Tanis, from a reader south of Boston. Love the pictures of Knox!
The snow, not so much....

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJolie

I loved this and brought me joy .
I shared it with my little part of the world to share the love ;)

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlma

I have just discovered your blog and I love it. Thank you, as an American, for your concern. We are all more the same than we are different.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercarol anderson

You always know just the right way to say things.

Hope that snow melts for you! Five feet??

You and Knox and the pup are welcome down here in Florida and everyone can play with my American Mastiff, whose name btw is Magic :)

April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Barrett

That was beautiful, helpful, warming, and funny! One of the best lines:
"I'm a sucker for a dog and his bitches. Er, bunnies." I literally lol'ed which doesn't happen that often.

April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Thank you for reminding me that the ordinary holds deep spiritual significance. I need to stop and savor the gifts that everyday moments hold. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

April 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Cockerill

Love Knox & the dog!

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelt your mans heart

Um, your dog is big.

April 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr Lady
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