Happy New Year 2019!

“The road ahead is not some predetermined path that I am forced to trod, but it is a rich byway that I can help create.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough 

La Chua Trail at Paynes Prairie State Preserve, Gainesville, FL

As I gaze at this recent photo I took of a Live Oak tree on La Chua Trail, I wonder what she has to teach me. Some words come immediately to mind: Persist, nourish, grow, expand, transform. I’ve been visiting this tree regularly for over 15 years. During that time I’ve seen her thick, sturdy body and rugged bark endure all vagaries of Florida’s weather, from summer’s suffocating heat, torrential rainstorms, and mercurial hurricanes to winter’s cooler temperatures and drier, calmer days. In all seasons, her elegant branches grow skyward into a crown, then extend out in multiple directions. They support soft, heavy clumps of Spanish Moss, and create cozy homes for twittering song birds, secret hiding places for insects, and abundant shade for wading birds, alligators, and admirers like me. Her magical leaves even turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. She accomplishes all these tasks while growing ever taller, ever wider, ever stronger. Just by standing there, she gets to do so much…

Persist, nourish, grow, expand, transform. Do I have to do these things, or do I get to do them? With 365 new days ahead, I’m shifting my thinking away from “I have to…” and toward “I get to…” Today I get to write my first blog post on my new website. And you get to read it (thanks for doing that!). At this moment, I get to stop typing and pause… I get to close my eyes, take a deep breath in, then exhale slowly. I get to feel grateful for the rise and fall of my chest, the gift of my breath, my beating heart, my thinking brain. I get to feel grateful for my inner weather (mercurial as it sometimes is), and the guidance of my inner wisdom. I get to open my spirit and anticipate the many wonders that will greet me: The new opportunities for learning I can cultivate, the self-connection I can nourish through the creative process, the new friends I can make in my community, the kindness and compassion we can share. Just by sitting here, I get to do so much…

The light in me greets the light in you, friends. I am so happy you are taking this adventure with me. Just imagine all that we will get to do in the days and months to come! What, I wonder, are you looking forward to?

4 Comments on “Happy New Year 2019!

  1. I love this. “I get to” instead of “have to”. Yes. I get to make time to read something profound. I get to make time for journaling. I get to make time for creativity. I get to make time for me. All of a sudden none of it feels quite as burdensome as it did…

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