I don’t think I’m the only person looking back at 2013 and thinking … whew! So many opportunities to grow, great sadness, great joy.

Two days before the New Year we had to let go of our last old dog. When we moved to our current home we had 4 senior dogs and now less than 3 years later they are all gone. I miss having a dog, but I have no plans for another one soon. As a friend recently commented, it feels like the end of an era and a beginning of something new. I’ve decided to embrace this new beginning, with just my husband and I for the first time in decades, learning to be kind to ourselves, to care for ourselves as we have cared for and continue to care for others.

Yesterday we celebrated Epiphany with friends and their little dog. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that guests have brought their dog with them when coming for dinner. It was also the first time they’d come for dinner and hopefully it won’t be the last. We had a great time sharing food and conversation.

Today, schools are closed due to dangerously low temperatures.. wind howling and picking up snow and sending it in all directions. Even with all the cold and snow, my thoughts are beginning to turn towards gardening plans. Although it’s too early to do any actual digging and planting, I’ve learned that it is during fallow times that the most important work is done, the cleaning, clearing out, decluttering, planning in preparation for the work ahead.

Normally I’d be out stomping around in the snow, taking in what the garden and house looks like in winter and thinking about what to add next season for winter interest and cleaning up anything I may have missed. With it being too cold to be outdoors more than a few moments, my attention turns to indoors.

I am in the process of moving a floor loom from my sunroom to my studio. This involves moving a lot of other things and it almost feels like we are moving again. I don’t do well with clutter so I have to keep reminding myself that this time of cleaning, planning and clearing, just as I’ve done in the garden, will encourage creativity and growth in the future.

And so I make use of this fallow time to declutter, physically and mentally, to begin again.

My prayer for everyone…

May you be showered with Blessings today and always, may the New Year bear much fruit for you.