Word of the Year 2021

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Khalil Gibran

It has been almost a year and a half since I have visited this space, this place that houses my thoughts and dreams. It holds the drafts of many ideas that have not come to fruition yet. And I have longed to be back here many times. But something held me off, kept me away whispering it is not time to return. As this year has dawned, I have decided it is time to gaze again at the pages, and words and my desires.

It has been a rough year for everyone, but an extremely hard one for me. We decided in the fall of 2019 to sell our lovely home and garden of 15 years, and downsize to a place where we could easily maintain the space. And while I love the garden, it had become too much for my body to handle. I found a gardener who was eager to tame the land we left, and we packed our bags sold half our belongings and moved back to our hometown 25 minutes away.

We settled quickly into our rental ranch-style (all one floor) townhome. It felt like home, and we were eager to explore the area, and start a small garden in the spring. But as spring dawned in March, I lost my beloved mother. Cancer had struck and killed in her within a week just as lockdowns were starting. We had no warning. and as soon as I heard the words, ‘she’s gone,’ my heart and soul hit the floor and I was plunged into deep grief. The pain and loss were unbearable, but I decided to return to what I knew would help ease me; nature and my words. I embarked on #the100dayproject telling about my grief and recounting my mom’s story and mine. It evolved into such a healing journey. And once the 100 days were over I took a needed sabbatical.

Soon after that, I had a bad fall in the house. I later learned that I had cracked and dislocated many ribs, not to mention severely spraining my ankle and reinjuring my lower back. It took many months of recovery, but I am back to normal with little residual pain.

A couple months after the fall, I started a journaling course that was tied to reconnecting to your inner child. That course really allowed me to see that I was still in the workaholic mind frame even after 6 years of retirement. I was not connected to play or fun, and it was time I moved on and left the work mindset behind.

And now we have just passed through the ending of the previous year. A year of deep soul-searching and reflection. As part of that reflection, I usually look for a guiding word to help ground me for the coming year. And my inner child spoke to me loudly with a word that was perfect; DELIGHT! My intention for this year is to tune into delight. To look for the brilliance and poetry and magic that is all around me. To do those things I have longed to do, and even revisit a few that I haven’t done for a long, long time. And with each project or task I undertake, I am asking myself, “Does this delight me?” If the answer is no, then I will move on or look for ways it could delight me.

I am unsure where the journey will lead this year. But I hope to visit this wonderful space where my heart sings more and more. I want to show you our new home, and all the nature and sights around us. To reveal our little garden and how it is evolving. And to exhibit any new projects and delights I am attempting with a gentle nudge from my inner child. I hope you will journey with me. When I am not here, I can be frequently found on Facebook or Instagram storytelling and regaling folks with my latest adventures.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I will be posting poetry again soon, on my other blog, Living From Happiness. I hope you’ll drop by.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2021.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


  1. Cathy says:

    Well, what a nice surprise! Good to hear from you Donna, but so sorry you had such a bad year. My sympathy for the loss of your mother. I shall look forward to seeing something of your new garden when spring comes. Wishing you a good 2021, full of ‘delight’!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Cathy…what a joy to hear from you. I am grateful for the year we had as I learned so much and looking forward to this year and what it has in store. Happy New Year!

  2. Alicia says:

    I’m sorry you had such a tough year, with the loss of your mother and that terrible fall. I hope you are able to keep returning to this space to document what you do at your new home.

  3. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening says:

    I am so sorry you had such a rough year. The year 2021 will need to bring better and more hopeful times to us all. It’s so nice to see you posting again, Writing is a pathway to reflection and peace. Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year!

  4. Elephants Child says:

    It is truly lovely to see you back in the blogosphere. Delight is a wonderful word to guide your year. My inner child is frequently the happiest and healthiest part of me and I really need to listen to her more often.

  5. Kris P says:

    What a rough year you had, Donna. I’m glad you found the strength to do the work necessary to recover physically and emotionally and I hope 2021 will be a MUCH better year for you (and all of us).

  6. Eliza says:

    I’m sorry to read of the sudden loss of your mother, Donna. This past year has been so challenging in many ways. It sounds like you knew how to move through your grief in a healthy way and your annual word choice attests to that. I related with “I was not connected to play or fun, and it was time I moved on and left the work mindset behind.” I need to heed this!
    Looking forward to seeing your future posts. Be well.

  7. Janice E Adcock says:

    May you feel the comfort as you continue to grieve for your mom and life changes. I truly understand. The day we closed on our home and my beautiful garden one day before my MIL of 47 years passed away. Lots of comfort in sharing on these blogs. Glad to have you back.

    • Donna says:

      Yes grieving is an ongoing process that never leaves us. We just cycle back through it and find our way forward again…thank you for your lovely sentiments Janice!

  8. Ginnie Hart says:

    How very delightful, Donna, to have you back with newness of life and love. Here’s to 2021…a NEW YEAR, full of delight. I love it for you and us.

  9. debsgarden says:

    Hi Donna, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother and season of trials that you have experienced. I am glad you have chosen to move forward, and I hope you do share your new garden with us! Wishing you health and happiness in 2021!

  10. Beth@PlantPostings says:

    Oh, Donna! Somehow I missed this beautiful post until now, and I’m glad I found it. We’ve both been through extra rough stuff this year, on top of the yuck everyone has gone through together. My dad was with us for November and December because I didn’t want him to be alone for the first time over the holidays. He’s in a community living facility not to far from here–he went back on Monday. I have mixed feelings about it, but the holidays were extra busy this year, as he needs some extra care. Delight! That’s a good word for moving forward.

    • Donna says:

      Oh thank you dear Beth. Yes we have been through so much. I think if you often. And I am keeping you and your family especially your dad in my thoughts. I am hoping for some stable time for us to connect soon.

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