So to all of us I wish for a letting go of what no longer serves and an embrace of the unexpected, whether it seems good or bad in the moment. And I’ll take it one further: here’s to shingles, the gift I thought I didn’t want, the bit of real life that brought me back to who I am.
On this Christmas Eve, during a holiday season that can bring all sentiments to the fore, may we be gentle with each other and with ourselves. My particular Christmas wish is for an acceptance of our humanness, for our own flaws and mistakes, our missteps and misjudgments.
I live a privileged life up here on the mountain, one made up of many diverse and beautiful experiences: quiet solitude within nature, good friends, good food and good dogs (oh, and yes, I must include the cats if I know what’s good for me)…
This brings out my inner hunter-gatherer in such a wonderful way. It’s like rock-hounding, looking for the prizes I want to drag home with me. There is something truly beautiful about this wondrous bounty of nature. As an artist I respond to it so much so that I will never grow tired of gathering and stacking it.
I have always felt safe in this vast solitude, living in pastureland cut from the old juniper and pinon forests long ago, out here among the coyotes and other wild things. Perhaps it’s offered something soothing to my own wild nature… On those pitch-black nights when there is no moon, with only the stars offering any sense of proportion, all of my nervous awkwardness falls away because I know who I am in those moments.
On THIS day my friend Kim Moss is busy baking an almond plum cake in the kitchen (here’s the recipe) and in preparation for switching over to my winter bed, I’ve hung new LL Bean flannel sheets out on the line to dry, so today these two things express the season most for me.
Let’s travel to the ends of the earth, if necessary, to comfort or even say goodbye to the people who matter–those who make up a life–in my case, the one who GAVE me life.