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Here I am having wrapped up the first week of January, 2021 and I can’t quite  convince myself that I have really escaped the claws of 2020. People are still  yelling at each other about politics and the pandemic. I feel like I have a big  hangover but can’t remember the great party that preceded it. Such is the state of  affairs for most of us I presume.  

So I am turning to two things to inspire me to shake this off this shroud of gloom and look to the future with optimism. The first of those is nature. Because I live  on the prefrontal range of the Crazy Mountains I look East every morning as the rising sun cuts the horizon and am awestruck by the gold and orange arrows of  dawn. In contrast, the afternoon sun bounces off the mountain tops and turns the  valleys into pale pink oceans. Just knowing that every day I will have sun bookend my days with such visual gifts gives me reason to pause and wonder. 

I also turn to words other people have written and I have a ritual that I use to set me on course for the year. During the first week of January, I turn to Sarah Brokaw and the wisdom she has shared over the years. She introduced me to five characteristics to be conscious of as I move from day to day. In her book Fortytude, Sarah lists the following: GRACE, CONNECTEDNESS, ACCOMPLISHMENT, ADVENTURE, and SPIRITUALITY. I won’t go into each one here but if you take a moment, read those words and drink them I hope they help you think about what it is that makes us all different and full of promise. I try to live by those words and combined with the natural beauty around me I am guided to just keep putting one foot ahead of the other. And skip every once in a while.  

Here’s to a year of promise.  

Happy New Year 

January 10, 2021