Honore' invites us to post about the word we chose for 2020. Thank you to her for hosting this year's reminders and link-ups. I chose tender. Today is the wrap up of a tender and difficult year.
Tender derives from several root words. First I think of "tenere" - to hold firm, to endure. Many words evolved from this stem: tender, tend, tenable, tenacious. And so as the year closes, we endure as we hold firm to what sustains us. What sustained me this year isn't much different than previous years. Although we are way behind on hugs and meals shared around a table, my family remains as dear as ever to me. Connections to friends near and far are precious. Making and creating with yarn, words, fabric, or thread brings a quiet joy. Being outdoors is critical to my body and soul. The silver lining of this year is a tender but clear focus on what I value.
Another related root for tender is "tendere" meaning to stretch. I would add that in 2020 we stretched in order to tend to ourselves and others. I stretched into creative thinking facilitated by technology. My book group didn't miss a beat as we gathered via Zoom. I watched my Texas grandson play football and my Montana niece play her flute and sing in a socially distanced concert. On Christmas Eve, my husband and I read "The Night Before Christmas" to our grandchildren in Connecticut. My yarn stretches south to Texas and east to Connecticut and to a few other locations.
Questions about tender remain. How to best respond with tenderness to others? I do not know what burdens they may carry. Today the snow falls. At times the flakes are large and tender, yet they find their place. I am home sheltered in a shawl of wool and alpaca and the prairie is snow covered. Still I know the roots of grass and wildflowers rest with tenacious tenderness. They wait patiently for the coming year and a new season.