In this issue: The best day of the year, Antarctica from a helicopter, and Alice in Wonderland, plus more.
One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My neighbor's front yard, with lounging skeletons under a canopy of blooming Camelia sasanquas. 

Good morning!

I am Hugh Hollowell, and this is Life is So Beautiful, a newsletter about finding the beautiful when it's hard to - and maybe especially when it's hard to.

The shorter days, combined with the early morning chill on my walks and the accompanying stiffness in my joints serve to remind me that winter is coming. But winter is a relative term here in Central Mississippi, with occasional bursts of truly cold weather, but most of the time between now and next April being what in our house call hoodie weather.

Of course, if you are an ADHD riddled Chaos Muppet (like I am), then what happens is you put the hoodie on in the morning, over your t-shirt, and then it gets warm, so you take the hoodie off at some point during the day and put it in the backseat of your car, where it lies because you forgot to bring it in at the end of the day. This situation then repeats itself until you have no more hoodies in the house and are forced to go to the car, shivering, one morning and don a cold, damp hoodie.

Or maybe that’s just me.

But this weekend, I sat in the swing in our front yard at dusk, watching the colors change, as the subtle shifts in light happened and the red tailed hawks soared far overhead and the neighbors walked down the street, costumed kiddos in tow, as they hopped from house to house in search of treats. A half hour later the hawks were gone, but the bats had taken their place, doing their frenetic aerial dance in search of a meal of mosquitos and other bothersome (to us) insects. Between the two scenes, a lone hummingbird flittered about our yard, late in the season, searching for nectar.

Amidst it all, I felt a sense of calm and belonging that is hard to describe, and honestly, rare, making it all the more welcome when it shows up. It is times like this when I am convinced that Emerson was right – every day is the best day of the year.

Five Beautiful Things

Suggested Reading

This is an excellent piece that details something of what it’s like to live with depression, and what can be helpful for those of you who love those of us who live with it.

Nonfiction has been hard for me during this pandemic – I’ve sort of devolved into escapist detective fiction. But not all of it is created equal, and the Matthew Venn novels by Ann Cleeves are well written and cerebral. She is the author of the books behind the BBC series Vera, and her Venn books feature a gay detective who grew up in a religious cult. It’s very well done.

For Patrons

Patrons should expect an email from me later this week with news about an upcoming patron-only project that involves the manuscript of a book I wrote back in 2016, as well as details on the two zoom get-togethers (to make it easier for those in disparate time zones) I have planned for this month.

* * *

Well, that is it for this week. I hope you have a great week, and that your life is filled with beautiful things. If you see something beautiful this week, I hope you will let me know about it, and if one of my five I shared today struck you in a special way, I hope you will let me know about that, too.

If you want to support this project, you can sign up to be a Patron or buy me a book or throw me some cash or, especially, forward this email to your friends. And if someone did forward this to you, you can get your own subscription here.

Take care of yourself. And each other. 

Hugh Hollowell Jr

View this email in your browser
Copyright © 2021, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.