Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Outside the museum on New Year's Eve Day
2016 came gently. There was bubble wrap to stomp (for fireworks). Father time (more under-rated than Santa). Taylor Swift (almost as exciting to my daughter as the Lego Movie theme song). And falling balloons (which my daughter and son could not catch but did receive from a kind kid with pink hair). We were in Chattanooga at the Creative Discovery Museum, where children were invited to enjoy the experience of science in motion, set to the back drop of a New Year's dance party, all before sunset.

When night fell, we had a simple fire at home. We burned a sweet grass braid and wrote intentions down on slips of paper which we also watched turn to ash. Courtney bought herself a calendar at Charis (Atlanta's landmark feminist book store), and she read our possible fortunes.

My Libra with Leo Rising Prognosis: I will find my voice. Use my voice. Trust my voice. And subsequently re-set my world, through a process which honors patience and the past without being beholden to either in any way.

It sounds about right to me.

So, where does that leave me right now, as I sit here writing, thinking about resolutions and such?

It leaves me with a sense of levity and gratitude. A kind stranger working in the intriguing field of children's clinical social work was kind at a coffee shop. My daughter and son arrived at SoulShine today in time to go for a quick walk through Kirkwood first. My son showed off his new Ninja Turtle moves, and we gifted an orange Fanta to a homeless man.

I take delight in these odd little things: My daughter's pink boots, paired with her pink leggings and pink jacket. I can sense myself already beginning to miss this time in her life, and I choose to embrace that with a fondness rather than a sadness. It's kind of like waking nostalgia.

I think my upcoming year will be about recognizing that waking nostalgia and making time for it—not in the sense of dedicated meditation, nor in the sense of celebration. More in the sense of how someone makes time in the morning to sit in front of a fire, holding a hot cup of tea and savoring it, knowing it won't last forever, grateful for every drop. This is a common insight--and yet, poignant still. I think that's because it hits us all in different ways, a little deeper some days than others, like the way it feels to settle into a tender smile vs. the way it feels to be uplifted by a grin.

I don't know if that makes sense, but I'm compelled to share the words which bring me peace.

One of my more concrete resolutions this year is to do this sharing more frequently, and deliberately, with the people who inspire me. I tend to have a block in my thinking. I feel like people who are very well recognized have no room for recognizing me. This year I'm flipping that. I'm telling myself: If I'm inspired by you, chances are you'll be inspired by me too. If I have something to share with you, I'm doing it. The risk is worth taking.

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