Guest post by Siena Lee-Tajiri
I’m writing this enveloped by the warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves coming from the pumpkin pies in the oven. It’s Thanksgiving week and by the time you read this, it will have come and gone with just traces of leftover stuffing and maybe that last slice of pie.
There’s so much about the holidays that’s bittersweet. For me, it starts with the joy that the holidays are coming up. One of my top love languages is gift-giving so this is the opportunity to let everyone know how loved and seen they are. But as much joy as the holidays can bring, there’s an inevitable sadness or loneliness that can often come as well. It can be fleeting or lingering.
Old and new holiday traditions
Growing up in Hawai’i, I experienced the best Christmases with family all around, a towering tree, lots of beautifully wrapped presents, and big dinners with all the traditional comfort foods. Having moved from home right after college, I really can’t remember the last time I spent the holidays with my family. It’s been maybe over 25 years now, 25 years of quieter holidays, smaller, more intimate gatherings and a lot of introspection.
But here I am, in a new place that’s awaiting new traditions. Already, Bear and I have met so many wonderful new friends. There are at least four squirrels who visit daily, a variety of sparrows, and what I’ve learned to be Steller’s jays and California scrub blue jays.
Then there’s Lewis, the tabby from across the street who comes right up to the sliding door. He and Bear have been known to just look at each other for hours. There’s also the ginger tabby with the colorful ruffled bird-safe collar who crosses the yard like a meowdel on the cat walk. Also, the large black panther cat who I may need to trap and get fixed. And last, but not least, Rita, the puppy from a few doors down who ends up in our back yard just to talk to Bear.
We are not alone
All of these amazing animals (as well as our very own cats) remind us that we’re not alone. The tall pine, maple and cherry trees that command the yard also help me to know this. The holiday lights that are already up and around many homes or in store windows remind me of our own light…each of us, radiating, shining, side by side, holding hands, assuring one another that we are not alone.
Noticing nature and the animals around us and taking in the symbolism of the holiday lights serve as reminders everywhere of the Great Life around and in us all. We are certainly never alone.
Although Thanksgiving has come and gone, I want to leave you with Bear’s Gratitude List:
Bear is grateful for:
-new animal friends that visit daily
-the sliding screen door to see my animal friends up close
-large windows and big trees
-my new cat tree
-loving veterinarians that took care of my teeth
For me, it’s even simpler. I am grateful for You. I am grateful that you’re here, that you appreciate learning through The Conscious Cat, and that you’re reading this. Thank you for your loving energy and for all the kind messages that you take time to send. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you enjoy this holiday season!
With Extra Love and Above,
Siena Lee-Tajiri is the founder of the Love and Above Cat Club. Please visit, sign up for their mailing list, and browse their shop.
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