I’m walking to the shops, walking down back streets, residential streets instead of the main road. I find more joy and interest in looking at the houses and front yards instead the busy main street. Houses that I use to pass most every day as a kid. I haven’t been back to Bristol to visit my parents for two years. COVID has been the culprit there. I wasn’t planning on visiting until next year when hopefully COVID might have been a little quieter. I wasn’t basing that on any science, just hope. But now I find myself back home.

My father has cancer and is nearing the end of his life. It is hard to acknowledge that at times. The good days that he has definitely perk me up. The reality is a decline, or a roller coaster with a downward trend.

This morning while walking to the shops I passed a house with a mother standing by the front window holding her young baby. I found myself reflecting on the cycle of life. The joy in the mother holding the newborn, my sadness as I experience the gradual decline of someone dear to me. In both, gratitude for life.