2019: A year in pictures

Cow, Lion

I didn’t spend any time writing this year, except to friends and family which is really a tragic shame that I have to spend some time on to make sense of why that was so, not for you dear reader. Today, I was googling artists and writers that spend time doing what appeared to be nothing to give myself some comfort – most of the stories weren’t really so positive so I knocked that off and here I am. I can just say that sometimes all the stories in my head are so loud and twisted together, I can’t make just one stand alone – maybe this next year, I can get better at that? Here’s hoping.

Good news, while I have a boatload of cliches about this past twelve months, I am going to spare you all most of that and save them for my own time. I will just state clearly that the path to my next decade seems to have gone from rocky and directly uphill an endless trail in the dark woods, to a gradual climb above the tree line with a summit in sight, with amazing views and terrifying drop offs on the side of trail. I am almost there and the last ten years have for once, looking back, been more of the making of me than the breaking of me. I am braver, smarter, wiser than I was ten years ago. I am also more humble, more willing to laugh at myself and no longer trying to make sense immediately of all the lessons. I figure they’ll explain themselves in time. People have come, they have gone and come back and I expect they will all continue to do that. My constants are like redwoods, tall, strong, reliable and mostly indestructible.

I celebrate that more than you all could know and today, simply just enjoy a small glimpse into the past 12 magical months, before I start planning, sharing and WRITING more about 2020. Just breathing in what just happened. It was a year of so much – there was death, new beginnings, challenges, joy and a lot of love.

On this fourth day of the new year, wishing you all happy days on the trail of life, may the year be kind, joyful and if it sends you challenges, may you be brave, fearless and strong.

2019: Fall at rest

Cow

My favorite tree. In my favorite hometown spot.

Five years ago, she was on fire. Orange as ever. I felt like I was on fire too. About to head off to Nepal, I was ready for what was next. That fall was spectacular.

This fall, she’s not so orange. No so well. Maybe she’s older, maybe she’s too tired to glow but don’t give up on her yet. Tree, I feel the same some days.

Let’s look closer though. She’s still got some orange fire in her leaves. She’s still in the game. So am I tree. So am I.

2019: Florida

Lion

Time away is time to clear out the cobwebs and to put my house in order. Distance from the churn of life. If I haven’t spoken of it here before, I should have. Lots has happened this winter and early spring and also a lot of nothing has happened. Suddenly the nothing is something. Somehow I misplaced the goodness of the nothing. The comfort of same.

Same job, same house, same life but I forgot that’s not bad news. It’s ok to feel settled. My friends. My family. My small town. My cats even. I actually kept plants alive this winter for goodness sake.

My thirties were so restless. I get tired thinking of it. New places, new cultures, I got a little lost.

I don’t feel lost anymore. I can see the benefit of playing the long game. This is new, people, and we’re going to see where it goes.

For now, I am going to have some more seafood and look at this view and warm my winter filled bones in this glorious sun.

2019: New Year, Same me

Cow, Lion

Time for a pep talk. I always have better years on the odd ones. Even if the events of the year are not great, they are always transformative? Glass half full? Seems people miss that the glass has something at all – water or wine, still something. So, my good people, going to try to make something of this new year. Here’s the best of the last one.

2018: Dog days of summer

Cow

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.”

– Ann Patchett

2017: Christmas Eve, in Cow Town

Cow

IMG_0505Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words. ~ Harlan Miller

Happy Christmas Eve to one and all – a bit more special this long and strange year. It’s been the best of times, the worst of times but going into next year, glad to be where I am, excited for what’s next and ready for reality too – a nice blend of all. I have love, I have so much goodness this year – my cautious optimist’s heart is full. May this season find all of you the same. BIG love from me to all of you.

2017 Giving thanks

Cow, Lion

Making memories, living life doesn’t mean I have stopped reflecting. It’s been an intense time of real adult style stuff. You can either go deep and connect through the story or you can instead share memories of happier times. This summer and fall I could do neither. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, something was just not right.

And then the show did drop. I’ll get there and share more or not. Life was upside down for a while but all seems slightly less so or maybe I am just better at it now.

Today we went Christmas tree shopping. The cub was not so thrilled. I remembered cutting a tree down is hard and it was slightly gloomy a day. Memories. In the end life in its imperfection makes better memories. It’s taken me almost half a lifetime to learn that. I always believed in the yin and yang of life, now I am just going focus on living it. Wish me luck.

2017: Summer of Cows

Cow

IMG_1131

A summer of summertime days and nights – in my magical purple valley. New England has summer down. Fairs, swimming holes, ice cream stands, farmers markets, outside stuff. I don’t travel much when it’s hot outside. I stay here with my people and family – we have drinks outside, we sit around fires, we catch some frogs (if you’re 7 we do that), we look for fireflies in the meadows in our electric green hills and we store up memories for when it’s cold and gray and dark. It’s been an amazing summer this year and when February comes around, I’ll make sure to hold these days in and warm up my heart.

2017: Half Done

Cow

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
Haruki MurakamiIMG_0978

2017: New Moon, Cow Town

Cow

The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
― Tahereh Mafi