New Year’s Day – a clean slate lays before us, full of possibility and promise. Most of us start the year with a list of Resolutions, a litany of things we want to do to improve ourselves in the months to come. I usually do the same, but this year, I have another type of Resolution to make: Resolution of the past. Before I look to the future, I want to let go of last year’s worries, last year’s drama, last year’s pain. I want to heave them into the abyss of time so I can start my journey free from the weight of things I cannot change. The Wild know the wisdom of letting go: The trees do not weep at the falling of their leaves, the snowflakes fall with abandon, however short their time may be. In The Wild, all that exists is the present moment, and that is where I want to be.
It is cold here this morning: Twenty degrees with a biting wind. The woods are white with a skift of snow, the moist earth beneath clings to my boots as I do my morning chores. Six months ago, a day like today was unimaginable. Six months ago all that existed was heat, and drought, and pain. The cruel sun seared the hard-packed ground, the grass withered and died, the leaves of the oak trees turned brown and fell and everywhere the little live things suffered. I did what I could to help: Making pools for frogs and turtles in the garden, setting out meat scraps for the orphan coyote pups at the hay barn, but nothing could really ease their pain. All they could do was wait.
The waiting was long, but at last, on a magical day in late August, the rains returned and the world was born anew. In the mellow light of autumn, the grass grew green again, the frogs found puddles in which to sing, the coyote pups grew strong enough to hunt for themselves, and across the countryside, the battered trees turned crimson, orange, and gold. The drought was over and, for The Wild, it was as if it had never been. There was no mourning, no anger, no self-pity for the suffering She endured. The Wild moved on with poise and grace and if She has that courage, I want to have the same.
So as the year begins anew, before I resolve to eat healthier, exercise more, and shed those unwanted pounds, I resolve to let go of the past. I will keep fond memories and remember lessons learned, but I will leave behind the anger, the petty arguments, the dark thoughts that caused my pain. I will walk away from the thing I wish I’d done differently, the things I wish I hadn’t done at all, and step forward with hope, with love, and with courage into the year that is to come.
Photo: Facing Forward
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel – f/22 – 1/125 sec – ISO 200