January wipes the slate clean, a chance for a do-over. Like passing Go
in Monopoly and knowing you’re about to be handed $200. The ends of
last year’s days have led us to this.
Last year’s One Little Word was all about light. I observed. I
captured. I wrote. I became more aware of my surrounding and the
interplay with the dark. Illumination. Luminescence. Incandescent. I
watched as the sunshine was bright in the morning and waning by evening, which was to
be expected. But what I never really took in, was how the texture of
the light actually changes during the different times of year. In the summer we have it
by the bucketfuls; enough for everyone to share, and then some. In the
winter it is as precious as gold. Driving today I saw the sky take on
a lilac hue, but when I looked in the mirror I could see a bronze
twinkle casting a spell over the landscape. So much to see, and yet it
changes so quickly. I still remember the island light from our time
there a few summer’s ago. I hold those memories close.
In another iteration of my OLW, my hope had been to shed so much
surplus and feel lighter. While I took some small steps and reassessed
and threw out and said “No” when I could; that work, I fear, is
But perhaps I did accomplish something; as this year my OLW is
“steep.” I have this urge to climb—mountains, hills, any challenging
terrain available. I think I’ve been stagnant for far too long. One
way to interpret the meaning of the word is in the physical sense.
During the week I sit at my desk all day. I rarely take time to get up
and outside I find even the smallest walks to be invigorating. I’m not
silly enough to attempt climbing Everest, but exercise and drinking
water is quite a challenge for me—as is getting enough sleep. If I
could make a priority of self care, then I might be on my way to
As with light I found there were different nuances with this year’s
word. My favorite definition has to do with letting your tea sit long
enough before you drink it. This always reminds me of that quote by
Eleanor Roosevelt, in which a woman is like a tea bag. What I love is
that interpretation of the word is almost an inverse of the first. One
meaning has me moving and meeting challenges, the other has me sitting
and waiting, trying not to be so impulsive, letting things sit before
I’m not sure what this year will hold, I think it shows great promise.
If it were a wine then I would pronounce it possessing a fine bouquet.
If it were horse, strong legs a great lineage. How does one assess a
year? Can you take it somewhere and say “Here it is, still just a few
days old, will it grow into everything I want it to?” There are no
guarantees, I know that. But right now, today, my dreams for the next
few months are still in their infancy. I have barely begun to voice
them, their outer edges not yet formed and solidified.
I think… I wish… I hope…
It’s hard to define those thoughts. But if giving a name makes it so,
then I’d to like to try. Having just read this quote: ‘It’s hard to
wait around waiting for something you know might never happen, but
it’s harder to give up when you know it’s everything you want’–it
feels serendipitous and true. I know that having these dreams means I
must work for them. That right there is the challenge– the climbing,
the journey if you will. I keep telling myself the view from the top
is going to be spectacular. When I get there, I’m going to sit down
and enjoy it.