We welcomed the new year at a cabin with our friends - six adults, six kids, two dogs and enough food to last us twice as long as we were there. We moved together and separately. We went for walks and skied. Some of us worked on a puzzle and others colored while a fire kept us all warm. The kids lay about talking and teasing each other. They made plans and played games and argued passionately and laughed loudly. They walked to the store for junk food and movies and then went to the basement to indulge. Through it all, I realized once again that they need us less and less and find their way in things together.
At one point, I took a walk on the lake alone and listened carefully to the shuffle of my feet through the snow and the wind through the trees. I stopped and took pictures of ice crystals and footprints, red berries and towering trees. I thought about where my life began and the path leading to the here and now. I thought of growing up in heat and humidity and somehow landing in this place of cold wind and ice.
I've often worried about wrong choices and closing doors but I am beginning to understand that life doesn't work that way. There is only this moment and the next and we make choices and often end up creating a life we couldn't imagine.
I never imagined that I would move to Minnesota and most days, if you ask me, I'll tell you how much I hate the cold. But, as I walked on the frozen lake and looked at the sun casting glitter on the snow, I kept thinking about how easily I breathe here.
I don't have a word for the new year and I don't make resolutions. I have a few goals that are less about change and more about maintenance. Mostly, I plan to live in small moments, to choose as wisely as I can when faced with decisions, to love with everything I have and to keep doing what I do, believing that everything will lead me towards the good stuff. It's worked out that way so far.