--Henry David Thoreau
This morning our Christmas tree fell over. It seemed as good a time as any to un-decorate, to put away the past year, tuck it neatly into boxes and place it ever so gently in the garage. Perhaps the year will stew, ferment and become more than it was like a sourdough starter or a dark yeasty stout; something from nothing. Then again maybe it will be just what it was - a year. A year full of beauty and concern. A year sprinkled with joy and a pinch of fear. Next year, I suspect, I’ll open those holiday boxes to much the same.
Cleaning and organizing proved cathartic. Now I'm thinking ahead, contemplating resolutions and plans for the new year to come. I expect the recession to continue. I expect to be financially poor but hope to be emotionally rich. Rich in family and friends, rich in nature and the allure of the earth. I hope to find grace in the things around me and want not for the things I do not have. I hope to be frugal, creative and industrious so as to make the best use of available resources. I hope to nurture my family and myself; to spend time snuggling and reading, talking, laughing, walking and playing. I hope to decrease our financial debt while increasing our non-material abundance. I want to live a simple joyful life.
And I’ve thought quite a lot about how to express this desire, this need to deconstruct. To get back to the basics as it were. One word continuously comes to mind . . . simplify.
Of course I wanted a symbol of my hopes and dreams. Somehow, however, it didn’t seem right to go out and buy my deity. Instead I decided to make one. Some scrap lumbar, some leftover paint, a homemade stencil and voila - my mantle is now adorned with one simple word ... simplify. It is a visual reminder to take each day as it comes, to appreciate the artistry of the world and to enjoy what sits before me. Who could hope for more?
To all of you in bloggerville - Happy New Year! I hope you, too, have a simple joyful 2009!