As with most things in 2009...I was almost too late to get a photo of this amazing blue moon. BUT, if you look closely you will see its light, almost obscured by the darkening clouds. That too, is the way life often feels, but don't be dismayed.
I spent the last hour printing my credit card and bank statements trying to get a jump on tax preparation only to look at the stack of papers and realize that they are printed in code. IN CODE! At first I thought I had finally lost my mind but I suppose it's a way to protect me, from the brilliant folks out there who have decided to use their amazing technological talents for evil instead of good.
I've thought so much about the NEW YEAR. New beginnings. New hope. New promise. I'm sure that I am not alone in preparing the plan. THE PLAN. The plan to finally, once and for all time to, lose weight, get out of debt, get rid of the mountains of clutter, exercise, watch less mindless t.v., etc. etc. etc. What else... oh, write everyday, read each issue of Oprah as it comes and then start to read the ones that sit next to all of the books that I had planned to read once I retired and had more time. Has anyone else noticed that there is no more time. I mean twenty four hours really is twenty four hours!
I woke up in the night last night and my mind was racing backwards, pausing on each moment of relevance in 2009. John and Casey got married, I had a challenging conversation with my sister that created an invisible chasm that we have finally moved past but overshadowed most of the summer, Jazzercize, Graduation, Atlanta, Weddings and birthdays and Lizza... each joy and sorrow and dream and disappointment... I just couldn't shut if off. When I finally decided to surrender and make coffee and write it all down... my mind went blank. It was like a practical joke that I didn't get.
This was the first year that I didn't sign Shannon's name, with the little halo over the 'S' to our Christmas cards. Somehow, now that Maw Maw and Bob and Lizza are there with her... it seemed okay to accept that it really is just "Jules and Jan". Shannon is good and I'm sure sent her own Christmas Greetings in her own way.
Ironically, I told Jules just last week that I was going to blog every day, with each entry beginning with Shannon's journal entries for that day...then Monday when Jill and Dee were here we watched "Julie/Julia". It was about being lost and blogging and knowing that even if no one was reading what you were writing... just being there every day made you a writer... at least in your own mind. Of course, Julie was also cooking and we all know better than to think that I might go there! Then again, Jules and I both plan to eat healthier and lose weight so maybe my cooking everyday might be something to consider....
I got a wonderful e mail from a friend that I have never met... but love none the less. She had a quote at the end that was so profound and inspiring that I wanted to add it to my own signature...can't find it, can't remember it....but one of these days...next year maybe... you'll see it, and be inspired. Maybe right here with me, and we'll both smile and feel that nothing is impossible.
A great deal of my time last year, as well as the time and energy of anyone I could get to help, was consumed with Gazebos. I had this fantasy that my cats would enjoy time on the deck with me. The Gazebo, just one of those screened in ones that you can purchase at Lowe's or Home Depot, seemed the perfect solution to keeping them corralled and it was within my budget. We had one in the backyard with the little fireplace and I love it but I wanted to spend time with the cats... who are not allowed outdoors alone because they revert to their feral roots and I have to spend inordinate amounts of time coaxing them out from under the shed. Well... the very first day, they discovered that they could escape underthe screen. The mosquitoes found their way in through the little grommets in the roof, which I plugged since they seemed to serve no real purpose. NEWS FLASH >>>The little holes in the tops of those Gazebos are there for a purpose. (I discovered what that purpose was during the first thunderstorm that blew through after I plugged them). You would think that a lesson would have been learned but no.... during the "Christmas Blizzard of 2009" both of the Gazebos collapsed. Yes, both of them. I simply didn't believe that we were going to get 18 inches of snow in 24 hours or that it would weigh enough to collapse my screened Havens!
Once again, I had to simply surrender to the inevitable and plan for Spring. Like yesterday afternoon as I was about to stress over missing the full beautiful perfect shot of the Blue Moon rising over this Culpeper country field... a prize winner for sure... I had to accept that much of living is not in capturing, but in savoring the moment. Not trying to hold on with that white knuckled grip that only spotlights our desperation and fear. I was sitting in my Jeep on the side of the road. A cold wind was blowing all around me but I was safe and warm and even though I couldn't see it, once that voluptuous moon disappeared behind dark precipitous clouds... I knew it was still there. I knew that there would be another full moon next month and the month after. There are certainties in life, but we have to embrace them gently.
My Mantra for 2010 is going to be Surrender Allow Believe. It used to be Surrender Accept Believe but I'm adapting. Surrender my need to control. Allow myself the freedom to remain open to possibilities and Believe that Oprah is right when she says that "God can dream bigger dreams for us than we can dream for ourselves." I'm thinking that there are some amazing things that we encounter "Once in a Blue Moon", but even those are ours forever.
2010 is going to fill us. Fill us with hope and wonder and compassion and the fulfillment of some of those dreams that really are much bigger than we can dream for ourselves. It's fun to imagine that tomorrow ... the next day... next month...heck even the next moment... is a gift. Unopened, new, waiting, wondrous... and all just for us.
May your new year be blessed in ways you have only imagined.