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I’ve been seeing and hearing many comments about people being exhausted and stressed along with discussions about goals and resolutions for the New Year.

Reading yet another comment this morning on all that needs to be done before Christmas … here is my personal refection.

I am a gardener and so I tend to think in gardening terms and I have learned ….
for everything there is a season …. does this sound familiar?

Every year I put my garden to bed for winter. As I do I reflect on what flourished and what withered away or simply didn’t take hold. What did I learn from it? What can I do differently to get a different outcome? What do I need to be patient with? What do I need to let go? I make notes of these things so I can come back and review them when I need direction. Then I let it go, enjoy the snow on the bare branches and in January sit down again and set some intentions for the garden, knowing that my plan is only a temporary guideline that may change throughout the coming year.

Many other gardeners do the same. We know there is a time for everything. That no matter how much we plan and do, we can’t control the outcome of some things or what sometimes blows our way and we learn the rhythm of the seaons.

Moving into the New Year works the same way. We can’t move on till we have put the ‘old’ year to bed. Before we make resolutions, set our intentions, pick a word to walk with, set goals or whatever it is that we do each year, we need to sit with the old year a bit. What were the joys and sorrows? What did we learn from them? Where did we grow, where did we plant seeds and help others thrive?

But for right now …. stop for a moment… BREATHE! … and think about the season we are in. What does it mean to you? What would you like it to be? Don’t do what everyone else is doing just because it is expected of you. If you don’t enjoy shopping, crowds or long lines.. like me… don’t do it! If you are exhausted from going to concerts, celebrations, too much preparation, don’t do it! Give yourself the gift of rest, time for walking, eating well, time with those you care about. And remember the best gift you can give someone is the give of yourself, your time, your attention.

The New Year will come soon enough …

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Another piece from a poem prompt in August. We were exploring the question of when we first noticed that death had at least one foot in our front door. And for some our reactions to aging.

Young Woman

Young woman rises
Stretches gracefully
Ready to begin

She turns
Towards something seen
At the corner of her eye

And is startled
By the woman
With white streaked hair

Old woman looks familiar
A bit like Mom
Yet different

Young woman and old woman
Gaze at each other
Their reflection in the mirror.

They reach out to each other
Embrace
Peace be with you

– Eve

Note: I stopped dyeing my hair about 5 years ago. When I had my hair cut very short, trimming off all the dark hair, I was surprised by all the silver hair I now had. For months afterwards and it still happens occasionally, I am startled by my reflection as I pass a mirror or window. I still feel like the young woman with the very dark hair and still getting used to the woman that looks like Mom.

Mom died when she was just a little older than I am now. So, I never saw her as a very old woman. That I look like her feels like a gift.

Sorting out my papers this morning, I ran across my September theopoetry which I titled Sea Oats.

I decided to go out and take a photo of the Sea Oats before it dropped all of its seeds. As I did an Eagle soared through the river valley.

Sea Oats

At the edge of the garden
where the river bank begins,
a visitor stands
looking over the water

Today the water flows gently
carrying graceful geese.
And as they pass the herons,
together perform a water ballet

The visitor looks up
as an eagle soars,
through the river valley,
dipping to the water

Colorful boats
make their way
past the sandbar,
bobbing along

Crafts so small
compared to those
where the visitor
is from

A seagull appears.
Watching it
the visitor longs for home,
by the ocean

Where the water
moves with the tide,
rising and falling,
making waves

And where
the warm sand
gets between your toes
gritty, yet familiar

Sea Oats wonders,
Will I ever go home
to the sand and the waves,
the sun setting over the water?

Or is this,
where I am now,
where I’ve been planted,
my forever home?

Sea Oats looks around
at her garden companions.
She would miss them
If she moved

Each in her own way
has become a member
of her community,
her family.

She lifts her arms
to the sun piercing the mist,
feels the breeze,
hears the eagle call

Sea Oats decides
she is no longer a visitor.
In this river valley,
She will spread her seeds.

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