Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

Winter scene in the Tweed ValleyNew Year’s Day is an odd construct: the year ‘begins,’ although we know that one day is much like another. Change is almost always far more gradual than 1 nanosecond. And yet, constructs have great power. This fence marks borders between farms, between ‘mine’ and ‘yours.’

Many of my writer friends are reflecting on the year’s passing: what happened, what’s to come. Where we are, even what the media — and those who run it — want us to see as ‘important.’ When I login to my Spotify account, for instance, and it says ‘your year in Spotify,’ I don’t expect to see the top hits of others. I want to see my own past laid out crisply on the screen. N.B.: this didn’t happen.

What was important to you this year? What markers would you place in a year’s timeline? My FaceBook retrospective was mostly old photos members of my family (and I, on throwback Thursdays) had posted. It had very little to do w/ my husband’s fall, the sister’s weekend, various small milestones.

I know writers who mark every day or week or month w/ some piece of consequence: a friend is doing an essay a week. Many of us do blogs. Some are working on art journals that will tell — we hope! — the story of our year, now still before us like unsullied snow. The idea of a ‘fresh start,’ where we can begin again, with our best intentions, is seductive. I want to believe that this year I will hold to my resolutions: drawing birds at the breakfast table instead of cruising the ‘Net. Keeping up on correspondence. Starting a new collection of work. Working more steadily in the garden. And of course, exercise. 🙂

Bur right now, the future is still on ‘that’ side of the fence — days & weeks & months ahead of me. While ‘now’ is right here, perched on the desk next to me.It’s the line in the snow where the wire cuts across the snow, mapping time and space. I have no clue what I will look at from this vantage point one year from now. Each year brims with its own joys & sorrows, coloured with them as indelibly as inks on paper.

So no, I don’t know where my beginner’s journey will lead this year. I can’t predict the  milestones, or even what music I’ll be listening to! What I know is that I intend to travel with good will and good heart. That’s what I wish, this New Year’s Day, for each and all of us: good will and good heart. Beginner’s heart.

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