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The kitchen smells of ponche, or my version of the hot winter drink, with the apples, pineapple, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and unrefined sugar that tastes like maple syrup, because those were the available ingredients. Winks, our one-eyed neigborhood kitten, wanders in and out of the open window, sniffing the scarlet runner beans sprouted in old bottles. My love paints Popol Vuh gods on the wall. Fireworks explode somewhere in the city. I pause my gravity puzzle of light, which consists of dangling beads on strings and sticks so they can rotate and catch the sun. I want to catch the first moments of the first day of the widely accepted New Year (though, personally, I much prefer the cosmological winter solstice as a new year because the days begin to grow longer then). I want to spend these first moments awake with love, art, real food, meditation, and writing. Let this set the pace of this year! (and spending time with family, who are currently far away but never so far from my heart)

I woke up with great expectations last New Years. Many of them were fulfilled, even some unexpected ones. I published my book (Puddle: A Tale for the Curious), enjoyed a most excellent road trip across USA, Mexico, and Guatemala, played with goggles in the ocean, made many mountaintop lunches, met amazing people full of love and creativity and justice, brought baskets filled with local food from the market home, walked through the woods with people I care dearly about, made potions (some people call it tea), swam in bioluminescent dinoflagella, and ‘accidentally’ attended the Unity Concert in South Dakota (listen to that whisper that has no sound but guides you to the really great stuff!) where we met people building their spirits to get ready to protect the water from the Dakota access pipeline (the concert is an annual festival full of growth, healing, and sharing).

The past year also held pain and disappointment. Politically, very much. Very. Very. Much. The most disappointment. Many people who have added to the beauty of the world passed from their corporeal bodies. And much individual pain on more local levels. May this year heal.

My affirmation for this next revolution around the sun: Thank you for love, health, and healing. Thank you for clean air and water, and deeply appreciated land. Thank you for growth and learning. Thank you for serenity and the meta fire to get things of beauty and justice done. Thank you, the you of anyone who needs a bit of gratitude, the you of the world, the you on this journey of life.