January 1, 2023
Siting in the early moonlight of the first evening of a new year.
Daylight came and evening followed. The first day.
I think of things that maybe I should be doing – read a book, answer an email, oil the old sideboard, wash my face.
And then I close my eyes. The voice of winter says, “Enough.” Enough of list making, enough of resolving, enough of trying always to be better than I’ve been at so many things.
It’s just a winter evening. A new night of a new year. Maybe that’s enough.
Today when I walked in the park there was a persistent “thud, thud, thud,” behind me. I stopped for a minute and a runner passed me on the trail. One of those people I call a “resolution runner.” These are folks who have decided to make it their resolution to get in shape and so they get out there in the cold and pound it out. Bless his heart. Bless his ankles and his knees. It was slow labor for this guy and I felt for him. I wanted to say, “It’s okay. Maybe start out walking.” But it simply is not for me to say. I was glad to just get out of his way.
But it occurs to me that maybe we’re all doing the best we can at the moment. And maybe we’re a little tired in the winter. It’s cold and it’s dark. “Sleep,” the winter says. “Rest.”
And so I’ve resolved to spend this time taking stock of what’s come and what is. To not worry too much of what will be. To sit quietly on a soft and silent evening under a gentle, waxing moon and say goodnight.
January 2nd. Begin the day with gratitude for what the past year brought. I realized yesterday that I’ve been living in this neck of the woods nearly forty years. The girl who came here was only 23. Back then I loved to paint and draw and create silly collages with abandon and without expectation. Without any concern as to whether the pieces I made were any good. Since retiring in June I’ve had time to get re-acquainted with that girl. So today I’m so grateful for the chance to have time to play and to learn new skills. I want to spend the rest of my days as that girl, making art at home with a cup of hot coffee close at hand and my lipstick on and with no concern for what I may be producing – only playing and learning. After so many years with young children I know for sure that play, exploration, risk taking – this is where we learn. Thank you for this year, for this life. I’ll still help out where I can with the little ones but the rest of the time, be it resolved, I’m having a fine time. No big resolutions, no worrying about whether I’m working hard enough or running fast enough. Music, trees, love, and art. This life is an incredible gift to carry into a new year.
Peace. (Here are a few things that came about…and huge thanks to my big brother for so patiently helping me with my drawing. Yeah, I know, I have a long way to go. I’m in no hurry to get there. Thank you also to Jennifer Zee for teaching me the basics of block printing and even loaning me some materials to practice with! Find her work at https://www.ginkgozee.com/)