Friday, January 5, 2018

WINTER'S GRACE





I love January. After the hustle of the holidays, January comes as a respite. New Year's Day in California is almost always bright and sunny on the coast. The weather can change quickly and yesterday it finally did. We woke up to grey skies with rain forecast for midday.





I love January. At Osage Station Park in Danville, the trees are stark except for a few leaves that one by one pull away and float lazily down. The pyracantha berries are red or white against dark green or red leaves, and the hundreds of rose bushes that surround the park's edges have been pruned back in anticipation of new growth. There are still some rosebuds scattered about the bushes. The buds and the flowers that still bloom are not the confident ones of Spring with their glorious colors and lusty air. These look the worse for wear, battered by wind and cold. Their tips are brown or transparent, and some petals droop to the ground. Yet, they persist after all the others are gone.




I love January. The air is quiet and heavy, suppressing the noises of children and cars. We only notice the cries of the phoebes, sparrows, finches, and juncos that swarm our feeders. There are more than usual, perhaps in response to the wildfires this year that limited their seed supplies.





I love January. When we lived in Japan, we realized that families set aside the week before the new year celebration as a time to clean, to set aside the worries of the past year, and to prepare for a fresh start in the new year.  Here in the U.S., people in business offices used to open their windows and throw out their calendar pages from the last year, ready for a new year. With that same motivation, I wake up the day after Christmas with a strong need to find clean spaces in my own mind for new projects and ideas for the new year.



I love January. I am still thinking of a word for 2018, but I like two that have been submitted by  readers of this blog:

GRACE

TODAY



What is your word for 2018?




Today is my fourth anniversary of writing Postcards in the Air. I owe a big thank you to all of you readers for your encouragement and inspiration. CHEERS!



8 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your fourth year!

    My word(s) is inspired by your Posts MOMENT (This moment)

    I need to slow down and take in what I see as I see it savor it, think about it, enjoy it. I need to focus my attention on whom I am with, each moment I am with them.

    The other day I was walking by the South San Ramon Creek when I realized that the bird sitting on a branch very close by was the kingfisher that only visits when the creek is clear and there is enough water to create a pool.My first thought was that I did not have my camera, but then I realized I could just enjoy this moment with this bird. It was very calming.

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    1. What a lovely choice to select: MOMENT You illustrated the idea perfectly with your walk at South San Ramon Creek. Thanks, Pat, for your comment.

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  2. Martha, have you read, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer ?

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't read The Art of Stillness. I like Pico Iyer. I will look for the book.

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  3. "Flexibility" comes to mind after a brief few seconds of reading this post. l approach my 7th decade when I turn 69 in April. I do not want to be brittle. I want to be flexible in all the ways that I can because I know that by doing so I may avoid both mental and physical injury.
    Thanks for helping me to discover a goal for 2018! Also...let me know when you are going to walk at Osage. If I am free I will join you. Happy New Year!

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    1. Good chose of a word for 2018. I know what you mean about staying agile. Harder to do as we get older!

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  4. Stirring images, Martha, especially the fading rose! Thanks for your inspiration on this rainy and reflective day.

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    1. You are welcome, Teresa. Thank you for being such a consistent reader of this blog. Happy New Year!

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Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from readers, and I answer each one.