Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Last Sunrise, First Sunrise

On Sunday morning, I sat on my roof watching the last sunrise for 2017. My tea for that morning was tumeric and ginger, sweetened with Belcour honey, from hives my brother and sister-in-law have in the Blue Mountains. There was very little cloud cover, providing a rather minimalist early sunrise sky.P1250275Later the sun came up over the hills…P1250464…outlining them in differing shades of grey.P1250505The next day I was up on the roof again, to watch the first sunrise for 2018. Tea was peppermint…with Belcour honey. It was a very different morning, overcast, with heavy banks of grey clouds.P1250773But the sun came up. As it always does. With unremarkable regularity.P1250900

These divisions…such as the old year into the new year…are arbitrary but useful structures for us, reminding us of the passage of time and ordering our lives to some extent. I enjoy these formal endings and beginnings and some of the rituals associated with them. Not all, mind you. But what I am growing to love more and more are the rhythms of nature. As I view them from my roof…because I am not a great outdoor person, hiking or cycling or similar activities. I am the person who sits on her roof, observing the movement of the sun, moon and stars, the daily flight of birds through this space, the trees blossoming and other such things. It is amazing what I can see when I sit still for a while….

On the 4th day of 2018, it’s not too late to wish you a Happy New Year!

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350 Words Or Less: The New Year Begins

It is an artificial designation…that one day the old year ends and the next day the new year begins. But it serves a useful purpose in the calendar, Gregorian or otherwise. It provides a moment for reflection on the year past and contemplation of the year to come.p1060663

Where I was for the last sunrise of 2016, the sky was almost cloudless, and the sun came up over the hills with a bright golden glow. I greeted it with Lorna Goodison’s “The Chant of Light” from her poem “Ceremony for the Banishment of the King of Swords” in the collection “Heartease”, part of which reads:

We have light.

Only who gave it

can put it out

We have light

diffusing dark

cancelling doubt…

We have light

You see

We have light.

Sunrise on the first day of 2017 was very different. There was heavy cloud in the sky, and I couldn’t see the sun itself as it rose above the hills, only its light reflected on the clouds.p1060738p1060826

The New Year designation reminds that we have a chance to begin again. Not from scratch. Not with a slate wiped clean. But that we can renew efforts, that we can make different choices, that we can review and set new intentions. (I still remember the voice of the first GPS system I experienced in a car, almost 10 years ago. When you veered from the set route, the GPS voice took a moment to set the new route, all the time saying “Recalibrating….Recalibrating.”) While appreciating the New Year’s opportunity for recalibrating, however, it’s good to remember that this opportunity exists at every point in the year. One of my favourite affirmative statements is: The point of power is always in the present moment.

Happy New Year!