Looking Back at 2021 with Love and Gratitude

two whippets in winter jackets running across the beach into the sun
a black and white whippet in a winter jacket on a sun-lit forest trail

First of all we want to say a huge thank you to all our blogging friends, fellow poets, photographers and prompters who make this such a wonderful space to meet and share in these extraordinary times.

We are also grateful to the health service, rescue services and the large number of volunteers who continued to provide support for people and animals in need throughout the year – your work has been amazing.

We’ll reflect on the year season by season, listing the posts you liked the most.

two whippets in winter jackets on the beach in the snow

The year began with new travel and meeting restrictions in place and we enjoyed a rare covering of snow. With less traffic, the air quality improved and wildlife moved into town.

all is quiet
in winter’s lockdown
nature gives
and we gratefully receive
the deer near our windows

Β© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2021, Volume 17, Number 2

The most popular posts in Winter were Shapes and Shadows (also featured in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2021), Blanket of Snow, Light in the Glen (first published in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal), Festive Memories, Stepping Stones (later featured in Poetry Ireland’s Weekly Prompt Series), and Serendipity.

Travel restrictions were gradually lifted throughout Spring and we had more freedom of movement. The season of fresh growth and flowers also brought the unexpected loss of one of our much loved vets in a mountain accident and the sudden loss of a dear friend who died of a condition she did not know she had. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends for whom this is the first Christmas and New Year without them and with all of you who have lost loved ones this year too.

a shaman plays
the piano
past the sorrows, new rivers
flow into this world

Β© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Fall 2021, Volume 17, Number 3

The most popular posts in Spring were Faery Spotting, Ancient Harmonies (featuring the Baglama Saz), Earth Tones, Wild Voices, Sometimes the Wind and Flower Moon, a tribute to our vet Martina.

We were blessed with a long, warm Summer. People travelled from far and wide to spend time in the Highlands and most of us stayed close to home to avoid the crowds. In the season where it barely gets dark the days were long enough to make a few day-trips to quieter places.

waiting or leaving
the choices we make
when we’re free

Β© Xenia Tran

The Asahi Shimbun, 31 December 2021

water flowing down through a rocky gorge

We were delighted to be able to continue to support three charities close to our heart with the proceeds of Sharing Our Horizon and Between Heather and Grass:

The most popular posts in Summer were Dreamtime, which was also the most popular post for the year, Waves of Grass, Walking Back in Time, Kinship, Waterfall (later featured by Catherine Ann Cullen in Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence Blog) and A Fair Wind.

The warm temperatures from Summer continued into the first half of Autumn before the weather turned. With fewer tourists, this was the perfect time to roam again.

cinnamon tea –
the warmth that fills
an autumn evening

Β© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal Volume 5:1, Autumn/Winter 2021-2022

two whippets climbing over rocks on a hilly forest trail

The most popular posts in Autumn were Autumn Sun, Soul to Soul, Moon Gazing, Autumn Turns, Trees for Life (about our new involvement with the Trees for Life Conservation Project) and One Breath.

We want to say a warm-hearted thank you to the international haiku and tanka journal editors who featured my poems throughout the year.

Special thanks to Mr Hidenori Hiruta of the Akita International Haiku Network, who translated ten haiku poems by me into Japanese for the World Haiku Series 2020.

We were honoured to contribute to three anthologies in 2021:

… and delighted to contribute to two calendars for 2022:

Thank you again for all the love and support throughout the year.

two whippets by a dog bed looking up at the camera

As we wrap up and prepare to sing Auld Lang Syne, we send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2022.

May you be blessed with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Finale

Word of the Day Challenge: Auld Lang Syne

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #180: Favorite Images of 2021

Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

55 thoughts on “Looking Back at 2021 with Love and Gratitude”

  1. What a wonderful retrospective. I’m so inspired by your poetry and photography. Your area is magical and the forests and shores really resonate with me. Congratulations on your publishing and charitable endeavors this past year. You’re making a difference in this world. I’m so glad I’ve found your blog. Best wishes in 2022! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Mike. We are so grateful for the beauty in nature that continues to nurture and inspire us πŸ’š We wish you a blessed and happy New Year with plenty of inspiration for your poetry too πŸ€—πŸŽ‰βœ

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Bella and for walking along with us here πŸ’š We wish you a blessed, happy and healthy New Year and may 2022 bring you all the best you wish for too πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ™ xxx


  2. Thankyou – I love looking through your poetry from time to time . Our lives have been changed by dear little whippet – Pepper . She is utterly adorable and we looked at your stunning pictures before deciding to get her . Happy new year to you all from South Devon – Ruth and Steve Blue and Pepper .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Ruth and it’s lovely to hear sweet Pepper is bringing you so much joy! πŸ’•πŸ•A Happy New Year to you from the Highlands too and please give Blue and Pepper a gentle pat from us all πŸ€—πŸΎπŸ’–πŸΎ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A spectacular roundup & reflection of the year! Yours is a space I feel very privileged to visit each time: thought-provoking, beauty-ful, restorative. Your images being happy memories of our long-ago visits to the Highlands, your poetry stimulate rumination. Thank you for the wonder you bring to our doorsteps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your support dear Ju-Lyn πŸ’œ It’s a pleasure to share these moments and so lovely to hear they bring back happy memories of your long-ago visit to the Highlands too. Wishing you and your family a magical and Blessed New Year and I look forward to seeing your walks and photographs on your wonderful blog too 🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Xenia you have had such a wonderful walk down 2021. Such a lovely and profound post. May we all keep up our great work on WP Blogging Site. Wishing you a beautiful Happy New Year 2022. All the very best Xenia. Love and lots of blessings to Eivor and Pearl too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your support dear Kamal πŸ’– A beautiful and Happy New Year to you too and may we all keep up our good work and help each other stay connected to the light πŸ’«πŸ’›πŸ’« xxx


  5. Happy New Year Xenia and what a wonderful post sharing this last year through photos and beautiful poetry. This is a wonderful place to share our passions and yours shines bright! Sending hugs from Chloe, Murphy and I to you, Eivor and Pearl! ❀️🐴🀠🐾πŸ₯°πŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

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