Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blessings Behind and Ahead

I feel a little greedy replacing the lid after checking on the blackeyed peas we started soaking last night. The humble legume that traditionally accessorizes the New Year's table of my southern roots is reputed to bring good luck, but how much more good fortune can one person presume? With a reassuring cup of fresh coffee in my hand, the fireplace warming the living room, a cold but clear day breaking outside, a drowsy puppy curled beside me and a grateful, hopeful heart within, any more seems like an embarrassment of riches -- continuing to pour when the cup is already running over.

It won't be long before this first day of this new year is full of sounds -- chickens clucking, music playing, dishes rattling, laundry tumbling, projects unfolding -- but just now in the dawning it is quiet and still and easy to reflect on the immensity of blessing.
  • There is, of course, the basic count -- food, clothing, shelter, and an embracing family scattered near and far.
  • 2014's garden was prosperous, thanks in part to timely rains and the slightest little bit of accumulating experience.
  • The chickens have taught me much about life and the fragility of living, interdependence and natural rhythms.
  • The prairie engages us with both short term reward and long term promise.
  • The fruit trees ground us in patience and the necessity of a long view.
  • Gathered friends and shared song have affirmed the power and beauty of community.
  • The labyrinth validates the discipline of putting one foot in front of the other. You don't have to dance it; you simply have to keep moving.
  • And here inside, amidst this beautiful and evocative setting, we feed each other -- with eggs, on occasion, and vegetables from summer's harvest, but more so with encouragement and forgiveness, reassurance and inspiration, listening ears and generous words, patience when needed and impatience when necessary, affection, indulgence...
  • ...and love.
Love most of all.

It's as though I have already consumed all the blackeyed peas in the world and reaped their mythical windfall. Turning this year's potful on to simmer it's hard to imagine more.

Blessed Old Year.
Happy New Year.