Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Dipping Into The New Year!

How do we begin a new day? A new year?

Going back to sleep...
Smiling at a blue sky and sun, through a gap in the curtains...
Switching the computer on...
Checking Facebook...
Letting the dog out...
Making carrot juice...
Making a plan...
Stealing a sock...
Shouting at the dog to drop the sock!

Each of our family started our day in a different unspectacular, sleepy way, but somehow we all managed to agree sooner or later, that we'd go to the beach. I packed a flask of hot chocolate, along with wetsuits and towels just in case my slightly wavering intention to swim crystallised into a determined action.

It didn't... it got blown away by the chilly breeze and shifted into a rather disappointing commitment to keep my clothes on and tie my scarf tighter around my neck! However, quite strangely, my son's previous decision to just go for a walk and not go in the sea changed into 'I'm definitely going swimming!'. Inspired by his enthusiasm I rolled up my jeans and went in all the way... almost up to my knees!! It was PAINFUL! The sharp stones hurt almost as much as the freezing water and my cries made the dog run round being crazy and barking.


Sharpness of stone,
iciness of water,
dog barking at our cries.

Here where you died,
we are being so alive
and suddenly I know,
this is the best way
to honour you.

There was quite a swell with some biggish waves causing a passing dog walker to say 'that's a bit dodgy isn't it?' which surprised me a bit because I was assuming that she was coming over to say 'Wow, I'm so impressed!'. But soon I had a numb son who couldn't feel his hands and feet to concentrate on getting dry and clothed and supplied with chocolate.

We almost stumbled on a strange creature, dead and washed up, which none of us could identify. It's legs were folded in, looking a bit like those of a spider crab, but it's body was very different. Any ideas?

I realised that my NOT plunging wholly into the sea today produced a bit of a 'failed' feeling. This was useful as it became a bit of a metaphor for how I can have a tendency to set myself up and then feel an obligation to follow through even when the project has become disconnected from the joy of the original idea. So this was an opportunity to solidify a new intention for the new year - to stop giving myself a hard time for 'failing' to live up to my demandingly high expectations of myself! Sometimes it really is OK to do something different, to respond to the moment, to not be at all 'amazing'. And it's definitely alright to listen to the river of the heart, allow it to change its course, to not force it through a fixed channel 'because that's what I said I'd do'. Which doesn't mean becoming a politician, dishonestly and unreliably promising one thing and doing another all the time. It just means being MORE honest with deciding where I want to put my energy and listening better to the intuitive impulses which get talked down a bit too much. Oh and forgiving myself a lot more for the fuck-ups and blind-spots instead of tormenting myself forever with their whips, because without hind-sight I know they wouldn't look half so bad. So yeah... kindness, to myself, to one and all.

Warmed by hot soup we went inland to one of my favourite places to visit on a clear sunny day - Old Winchester Hill, the ancient Hillfort with its Bronze Age burial mounds, old yew woods and incredible views all round.

As we walked back the sun was setting and turning the sky to the West a golden orange. It's just something so simple which fills me with incredible gratitude... costs nothing but the effort to turn my head, open my eyes, a daily gift of beauty offered the world over, every one unique. A new intention for the year forms - to be present for as many sunrises and sunsets as possible. Beginnings and endings. A fresh opportunity each day to use the power of this opening and welcoming in, of this closing and letting go.

With the last light from the day's sun, we walked down the path to the woodland burial ground where my brother is buried and I placed the stone I had picked up at the beach this morning, onto his grave. Feeling a paradox, that maybe we can learn how to let go and also hold on, transforming the ended into a beginning without losing the essence. Experiencing the one within the all.


Our first day of 2013 has given us lots of memories for our jar, which we will read when we need to remember the good things or on next New Year's Eve, when we need to remind ourselves where the year went to so quickly. Happy New Year!


  1. Beautiful describing of a New Year's Day, dear Fran. And of course how I love the pics of J IN the sea! You all do know that the water is warmer at this mid-winter time of year than it will be by March?!!
    All of my warmest greetings and love for 2013.

    1. Thanks Sara, and I'm sure our seas down here are nowhere near as warm as yours?! Lots of love and thoughts to you two xx

  2. A wise and lovely post (as usual!). Could your weird critter be a horseshoe crab (or part of one...)?

    1. Oooh, I'll check that out, thanks Moonroot! Although it seemed to have about 5 segments to it's shell and the horseshoe crab pics I've seen look all smooth, but I'll investigate further... And I just read your lovely post about your beautiful blessings jar!! There seem to be a lot of people I know doing one this year. Would be lovely to all get together for a sharing of them at the end of the year! Much love your way xx

  3. What a beautiful start to the year, and very brave of Jordan to get in the sea, it must have been freezing!!

  4. I like the memory jar idea. I must start one next year.

    1. The difficulty is remembering to fill it! Xx

    2. I'll start with a small jar.

    3. Good plan...sure to encourage an abundance of lovely happenings :)