more light

I’m writing this while sitting in our bathtub filled with warm fragrant water, exactly where I was one year ago, when we had just leased our house and came out here for New Year’s before moving in for good one month later.

2016 is coming to an end in less than three hours in our time zone. It’s been a tough year, both for us personally and around the world. Wars, with huge civilian casualties, including many children. Terrorist attacks. The U.S. presidential election. Disquieting and dispiriting things happening back in our home country. I’m not sad to see this year go, beyond the general slight sadness that I usually feel about the passage of time at a few key moments each year: New Year’s, my birthday, the winter and summer solstices.

I’m hoping for a better year in 2017, for all of us. I have no illusions, though, or I like to believe that I don’t. No illusions about the plight of the world, at least. As for us, I think that P. and I will be OK. There will be challenges, but we will be OK. We definitely made the right move, quite literally, when we moved here. We’ve met people, gotten to know the community a bit. As hackneyed as it sounds (feel free to roll your eyes if you’d like), we’ve grown a little closer to nature. The starry sky at night is now a familiar sight. A year ago, all we could identify were Orion and the Big Dipper. Last night, we looked up and named the Pleiades, Aldebaran, Sirius, and Procyon. (I forgot to look for the Little Dipper, the North Star, and Cassiopeia, but I know they were there, just a tilt of the head away.)

This morning, after a late breakfast, I skied up our snowy road to say hello and deliver some homemade treats to our new neighbors. The sun was bright, and it felt good to be outside, arms and legs working and warming up my body in the crisp air, our dog trotting along, sometimes lagging behind, sometimes galloping ahead, and sometimes right next to me. I guess my wish for everyone on earth for 2017 is to experience and remember a few moments like this – moments of simple pleasure, beauty and contentment. They really make it all worth it, or at least maybe they can help make a sad time a little bit less sad. Have a peaceful year, everyone. May there be less suffering and more joy in 2017. More light amidst all the shadows.



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