Inspired by the stillness of a fresh blanket of snow outside, I find myself ready to write for this space again. I have missed this feeling - the drive, the passion, the bubbling over of the desire to express myself in words and knowing that I might be able to.
It feels like New Years Eve to me today, and I suppose for my chronological life, it is. It is with calm excitement that I enter this next year. As December has inched forward, it is as though I have reached a clearing, finally. After climbing and climbing through thick clouds and sometimes, thankfully, thin mist, over the year, there is a plateau. From here, I am looking out over a vastness of hope and rivers of opportunity. The ground below me is made of the challenges that, somehow, I scaled successfully. In this moment, in this mental place, I am not scared of heights; the view of what might be is too beautiful, too welcoming, for fear.
With this image in mind, gratitude for the last year flows through me. Firstly, for the year itself. Sometimes I take it for granted that life goes on, but really, any time at this point is more than I ever thought I would have; to know life the way I have been given the chance to live it…well, the tough times are welcome as part of the experience. As the Universe - or whatever - decides what is next for me, I remember that in each day, there is already so much to be thankful for, starting with each breath, each heart beat (and delicious bites of chocolate too).
What strikes me even more this evening is how grateful I am for the people whose life paths crossed mine this year; for those who have been there for a long time, those who have joined recently: you have brought me inspiration, comfort, humour, relief, and taught me so much. You continue to show me the beauty of people and the strength of the human spirit. For those who couldn’t stay for whatever reason, my heart broke, sometimes when it already felt broken. In some circumstances, the passing of incredible people reminded me keep loving and being loved and, as cliche as it is, the “meaning of life”; which is why, though I am sorry you had to leave, I am thankful for you.
For the littles that know me as “aunty”, you bring light into my life and refresh my world with your innocence. The squeal of “Aunty Julia” gives me a feeling in my heart unlike any other at this time. You, little ones, have made my life and this last year, so much richer.
My intuition gently spoke to me at the end of last year and I knew that 2015 would be a tough one. However, as part of seizing my earthly time, I kicked myself out of my comfort zone(s) anyway and life pushed me even further. Now, I am finding comfort in the chaos. The incredulousness found in each of the last twelve months, in retrospect, prepared me for the next and taught me lessons I couldn’t have imagined it was time to learn. I have felt hit from all sides at times over the last year, but now, in the calm that has arrived, I can reflect on what I learned from the challenges. Some of these lessons may be described in a post later in the month...
There were plenty of fumbles and follies over the last year (suffice to say that grace is a long term project); I have had to extend more frequent apologies than I would prefer for the year ahead; there have been tears shed that felt they would not end and laughter shared until stomachs ached. Dichotomies aside, perhaps one of the unique aspects of the year was the frequent and confounding coexistence of so many experiences of life in any given moment!!
As I reflect now, what a way to feel alive!!
So, it is with a gracious heart as well as sweet relief that I bid this last year farewell. Awareness of instinct is such a gift, and as I look out from this momentary plateau - which is far from the summit - I listen carefully to that inner voice. The sound of this voice, now, is so drastically different from the abusive inner voice I heard for so long.
Tonight I hear: This is beautiful. Be grateful, be still.
And I am.
Much love, readers.