Moments to End a Decade
...and to start a new one.
While I've written a post called "REVERE" that I'm not quite comfortable enough to post, the post you're reading came to me in the middle of last night. Blog topics have a way of coming to me in the days leading up to each fortnight, the frequency with which I post (so far anyway). Here are moments from the last 2 weeks that have somehow moved me with joy, wonder, peace, reflection and more.
Group hug! or GRUG, as I call it. Timeless moment of happiness and joy captured by Kim, who put on a magical Christmas Eve for us all. Time together is what I'll cherish most from this night; huddled in front of a roaring fire, sampling cheeses from the Swiss Alps, just being together, sharing time and space. What greater gift is there than the warmth and love of being together?
TO THE SHORE
Crane's Beach; December 29, 2019
Spontaneous on this brilliant, sun-drenched day, and inspired by scenes from Little Women, which I'd seen a few days prior, I headed northeast for peace, reflection, and hiking; tranquil simplicity, or "wabi-sabi." I got that and much more. The warmth and kindnesses of strangers: "Veeerrrrry impressive," she announced as her broad smile elevated me. "Lookin' good!" encouraged another. And so many more gestures of pure kindness, support, and I think even understanding-- throughout my 3-hour adventure on the sand, which was being newly brushed by the outgoing tide-- as if to say, "Let go of the past...a new day is upon you..."
I was at once alone and surrounded, exposed yet protected. In peace, reflection and solitude, I was not alone. I could feel the presence of people-- perhaps more than I know-- who were looking out for me, keeping me safe. I am full of Hope.
December 26, 2019
I woke that morning to an unbridled bundle of joy named Leah. In little more than a moment, I found myself studying the lyrics to the chorus in Taylor Swift's song, "Lover." Over and over and over, for the next 2 hours (yes, 2 hours), I rehearsed the verse:
"Can I go where you go? Can we always be this close forever and ever? And ah, take me out and take me home You're my, my, my, my Lover"
Now I'll admit, reluctantly (very, VERY reluctantly), that I may not have had a broadway musical voice to begin with, but PLS has significantly "altered" my voice, or at least has compromised my ability to hold a tune or a note--ok, I can't even find a note! Regardless, I was having alot of fun dissecting every word and note as I tried to make it my own, to feel it, to sing from my soul!
The best part, however, was my friend and coach, Leah. I would try a line over and over, then say, "that was terrible!".
Then Leah would jump right in, refusing to let me despair:
"No, no! That wasn't bad! I like how that sounded-- that was good! Now try it with more on the "And ah" part. Then I would try it a few times, and it actually wouldn't sound that bad, or at least that's what Leah's support and encouragement had me believing. Then she taught me how to make the final "my" just a little louder before abruptly closing it-- to have a moment of silence before the final word. And so it went as we led up to a few (ok, several) video takes on her iPad. Leah. What a friend...what a FRIEND.
Among the family traditions I've managed to carry on, perhaps this is my most coveted. Making my mom's "Swedish Braids," aka Cardamom Seed Bread. Few things bring me back to the warmth and love of my mother's kitchen than Swedish Braids. Always a challenge for me to get right-- will the dough rise? was the temperature of the yeast too hot? too cold? I love splitting open the whole cardamom seeds, crushing the cardamom with a hammer, punching the dough that's risen explosively! Well, I have to delegate a few of those tasks now, but fortunately, Kim is now a Swedish Braid aficionado so I can't mess it up! I've come to realize just how much love and care there can be in the family kitchen. Thinking back over the years, now it all makes sense...
There were other special moments; many, in fact-- a supportive glance, an open door, a kind word. I wish for you to experience the genuine kindnesses I feel most days. And at this advent of the new year, the new decade, I also wish you faith, peace, health, fulfillment, joy, laughter, meaning, real conversations, truth, and personal growth. I wish you progress on your journey-- your journey to find your "El Cap."