Settling in and a New Year’s wish

Happy New Year’s Eve!

It feels good to be back here with you after a four-week break to move across the country and start getting settled in to an unfamiliar new home.

I hope you’re enjoying some rest during the holiday season, though I know tonight may bring revelry and exuberance as we usher in 2015.

As I settle in to my new home and get accustomed to unfamiliar surroundings, I’ve been struck with how fortunate I am to live where I do, near a beautiful protected park along the river. From the first morning’s walk with my husband and dog, I was captivated with the surprising beauty and peace of the place.

I was surprised one morning to see this tree filled with vultures. I tried to look alive as I ran under the tree.


How many vultures can you spot in this tree?

This isn’t even a very big tree. I was amazed at the numbers gathered there and was briefly unsettled, until I remembered my husband telling me about the salmon spawning here during his visits in November.

The vultures didn’t care one little iota about me. They were here for their Christmas dinner, and given the smell of rotting salmon coming off the river, I was glad for their presence. They still have work to do, and I find myself happily looking for them and counting them each morning. Today was breezy, and several circled the river riding the wind. They looked almost graceful in their enjoyment of the ride.

While I would never have thought vultures would teach me something about a new calendar, these birds have. Not everything can stay the same, nor should I want it to.

Not everything can stay the same, nor should I want it to.

Just as I don’t want salmon carcasses left to decompose along my running route, I don’t want to cling to the old things that are no longer meant for me. I need to let go, and I need to embrace the sometimes ungainly, unlovely helpers I encounter along the way.

While I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, there are things I have to let go of to embrace the year ahead. Can you relate?

My wish for you (and me) is this:

May we let go of what must be left in 2014. May we embrace the coming year. May we encounter gentle paths along the way. And yet, when we encounter the inevitable rocky paths, may we embrace those, too, knowing that they help us stay sharp, they help us develop compassion for others’ rocky paths, and they challenge us to become a stronger, better self than we would be if all our paths were calm. Most of all, may we flourish.

GentlePath2014_FT RockyPath2014_FT

I’ll leave you with a scene I’m blessed enough to see every day. The dog is settling in well, and we both enjoy stopping here in the mornings to watch the river teem with birds. I couldn’t ask for a better way to greet each morning, and I wish you many moments of calm and serene beauty as you start your year.


My dog and I run the trails and stop by the river each morning, becoming more “local” every day. 


All the best to you in 2015!

PS—Thanks to some crazy VAT law the EU passed, the price for my ebook will go up tomorrow. So buy it today before the price increase! (I think it’s a steal at $3.99.)

A new year’s day wish

Happy new year, my friends.

I say that feeling a bit unsettled and regretful. You see, I’d like a do-over on the holidays. I have been sick since the Sunday before Christmas, and the last week and a half have been a fog. I am finally nearing the land of the living again, but … ah, what I’ve missed.

Family I don’t see often came to visit, and I loved having them in our home, and there are lots of good memories, but they’re all dulled by the haze of medicine and feeling miserable.

There’s vacation time that I should have been able to enjoy with my husband, but I didn’t feel like leaving the house for much of anything, and so he went on walks and hikes and runs while I recuperated and gathered strength.

There’s the knowledge that I had an okay (not great) running year but missed my unstated mileage goal by 12 miles, miles that I could have run in a single day had I been healthy. I haven’t run for a week and a half, though, and tomorrow may be my first very short attempt to get back to it. Too late for 2013, though.

There’s the looking back over a wonderful year in general but alighting on the less-than-perfect parts. The dreams deferred. The plans unfulfilled. The ways I let myself and others down.

Maybe that’s the beauty of January 1. We know that there are no do-overs. We are to stop looking back and step into a new year. We have this one day to plan and dream. Some of you make resolutions. Some of you may even follow through with your resolutions.

However you spend today, here’s my wish for you for the new year:

This year, may your life be a flourishing tree.
May you have more days of sun and gentle rain than storms and biting cold and searing heat.
May you be strong enough to weather the storms that come and flexible enough to bend when the winds blow fierce.
May you have moments of pure joy in the warmth of the sun.
May your roots be strong enough that you can support others around you and give without needing anything in return.
May you delight in those who shelter in your outstretched limbs.
May you greet each dawn standing tall and ready for what the day will bring.
May you experience moments of perfect calm and times of dancing.
May each season bring its best to you.
This year, may your life be a flourishing tree.

An island of flourishing trees

An island of flourishing trees

What are your hopes and dreams for the year ahead?