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fence

Dear 2013,

You were a test I’m not sure I passed. I survived, though, and am more than ready to say goodbye. It’s not that you weren’t peppered with beautiful happenings. You know, and I know, that they were there. I have been grateful for these things. I was published! I met beautiful people at Squam! I’m still processing a bumper crop of garlic! Two evil kittens were acquired! Love grew, and so did my boy! There are so many more things I could punctuate with joyful exclamation, but man, the not-so-great things? They were really fucking harsh. Seriously. Even with all the fantastic things, I can put this down as the most difficult year of my life, hands down.

So, today, on New Year’s Day, I will make lentil soup for luck and prosperity, probably something like this one, because I’m Italian and that’s what we do. I will finish up a few lingering creative projects, like my Autumn poem, so I can say goodbye to that, too. I will make lists. I will clean the house. I will change the water in the aquarium, because axolotls must also enjoy a fresh new start. I will pat the goats and coo at the ducks. I will finalize my list of reasonable goals. I will play games with my son and it will be a full, full day, but not in an uncomfortable way. Rather, in an overstuffed chair kind of way.

I’ll try my best, 2013, to hold only your goodness in the moving forward.

And there you have it, my word for 2014: FORWARD.

What’s your word?

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fading light

lettinggo3

It has been hard, of late, to see new beginnings as anything more than crushing endings.
I was feeling ready to tackle countless projects and develop ideas into real things and share and radiate and move mountains when I came home from the Taproot Gathering.

And now I wonder…was I really there? Did I make real, lasting connections? Did I begin to tell a story, but now have forgotten how to go on? What happened to the momentum I felt building as I journeyed through that weekend?

bedroom

My sense of restoration has been tried and tested in myriad ways. I’m holding on to just a shred of it, and hoping it’s enough to help me find my way back.

longhouse

Tulle, string lights, streamers, pom poms and cider by the fireside have been supplanted by financial woes, illness, soccer games, homework, rejections, apologies and making do.

It’s the same let-down feeling that comes after graduating college, giving birth or finishing a really amazing book.

mums

I thought I could hold on to this.

home

I think that part of me knew I would go through this. I left several times that last morning, but kept coming back…to make sure I didn’t forget to pack something, to read about the history of the camps, to stand on the porch with my eyes closed and listen to the sound of the water lapping on the shore. Maybe I was trying to find some sort of identifiable way to keep the experience close, as if the sound of the water could stay in my ears and become accessible at will.

speedlimit

And when I finally tore myself away, I did not drive out of the camp. I parked the car just inside the gate, and then I walked to a trailhead, so I could give myself one last gift.

birch

I stepped lightly, carefully, deliberately. I stopped to listen and I stopped to look and I stopped at the top of Rattlesnake Mountain for a long while in a sweet glow of sunshine.

rattlesnakemtn

Perhaps if I keep my step and my heart light, careful, and deliberate through these precarious times of mine, I will find the sunshine-y summit.