Looking Back at 2021 with Love and Gratitude

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

© 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.

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

© 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

© Xenia Tran

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

© 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.

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