One of many full moon paintings inspired by this place. This one: “Full Moon with Cedars” 2005

It’s a new day in a new year, beginning a new decade.  I’m grateful for that.  We talked today, at Kim and Grier’s table, over blackeyed peas and collard greens, about how we all, in our own ways, managed to miss the clock turning over.  But I think we all felt keenly this invitation to newness and change.

I marked the close of last year by writing out my intentions for the coming year.  This is much more productive than making resolutions.  I’m bad at resolution-keeping.  But if I name an intention it rides around in  my unconscious mind all the time, and often  has a way of making itself reality.  Looking at last year’s intentions, they seemed a bit vague, though I did notice that most of them had happened.    This year’s are very concrete.  I celebrated them with a brandy and dark chocolates that Carla had brought me. Then I called Rodney– my friend since college days, and we tripped over one another’s sentences, talking for an hour about past, present and future.

This morning, to celebrate the newness, I could only think of taking a walk back into the woods.  Lacking tractors and chainsaws I often resort to third world techniques for getting a job done.  With my machete, bought in Central America for $1.50, and sharpened by my sons, I cut the briars out of my path, finding my way to the back of my little farm.  It was warm and the woods were a hundred soft grays.  All the recent rain had made the  mosses brilliant and lush.  I found a little spring-fed creek I’d never seen before.   After lunch I could only think to go back to the woods.  This time I brought back a sapling that had fallen and developed beautiful lichens.  Tonight, on this first night of the new year I noticed it took darkness a little longer to arrive, and when it did the white disk of the moon rose slowly up behind the bare branched trees as it has hundreds of times in my life here.  It was so beautiful it brought tears along with thoughts of dear friends scattered and far away, and my never-ending deep gratitude for this earthly home.