Anne of Green Gables and the New Year

“Isn’t it a splendid thing that there are mornings.” Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorite childhood characters. She was full of life, courage, purpose, determination, gathered good friends, and was a gift to grow up with. I love how Lucy Maud Montgomery developed her as a character: as a young girl I thought Anne was real. Such was the way that books captured my imagination and heart, and still do.

And so we arrive at New Year’s Eve. The final calendar day of the year 2012 and the unfolding and opening threshold for 2013. I know that much is written by others about: resolutions, intentions, hopes, dreams and plans for the coming year. I found myself contemplating Anne’s phrase this morning and am indeed thankful and grateful that there are mornings. No matter what our circumstances, place in life, work, family; the morning will faithfully arrive. The day will shift with the sun, darkness will fall, the stars and moon show their light, and we will sleep and rest.

I opened up various journal entries from the past year and reflected on the mornings that have come and gone and find myself thankful and grateful for much of the past year. January 2012 began with some difficult emotional times for our eldest daughter, which were later transformed through helpful physicians, counselors, medication, prayer, and an incredibly strong determination, courage and perseverance by her. February, March and April I traveled alone and with family to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park (one of my highlights), India (on which I’ve written a previous post) and Napa Valley, where Dave and I celebrated 25 years of marriage (quite a milestone). May brought with it a deep sorrow and grief as dear friends lost a son to cancer. I also had to give up one of my favorite contemplative practices: walking, as I discovered that I was suffering from plantar fasciitis. June brought with it another series of days and celebrations in which we rejoiced with our middle daughter as she graduated from high school. Summer mornings were celebrated with a visit from a dear friend from England, along with adventures to Saltspring Island, Lake Chelan and a fantastic Disneyland adventure with my Mom. I also bought a bike 🙂 September brought with it significant household changes as we sent our two daughters off to University and as a family we navigated having one teenager at home. Dave and I were able to travel to Paris in late September – my favorite city in the world. I was joined as well by my dear friend, Cathy, for a few days while Dave headed off to India for business.I was very thankful that my foot had healed enough that I could walk and wander the streets of Paris. In October I celebrated my 49th birthday and began volunteer tutoring with a non profit local after school program. November, I wrote a novel! Well, it’s a very, very, very rough draft, but it’s the beginnings of a novel;  one I wouldn’t have attempted to begin if it weren’t for the promptings and journeying with my delightful friend, Kayce. December is nearing it’s end and has brought with it: watching our youngest perform in his first ever high school play,  fun moments and times with my daughters at home, celebrations with friends and family, a trip to Vancouver, a day of skiing, and other life happenings and mornings.

I do wonder what 2013 will bring. My hope is to continue to be thankful and grateful for whatever mornings may come. There’s a prayer and movement practice that I do in solitude, and with others: “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.”  As I say the phrase, slowly, I stand and breathe deeply, reaching my arms in a circular motion up and then placing them at my heart center after the first sentence. I then exhale and reach and breathe deeply moving my arms in a large arching circle and return them to my heart center for the second phrase. I sometimes do this as many times as I need to feel a sense of peace, stillness and centering. To be thankful for the all (especially the deep pain, is hard), the not knowing of the future ‘all’, is a journey into the unknown that can be unsettling, yet freeing. I hope for unknown wonders and mystery and look forward to what the future may bring. As per Emily Dickinson: “I dwell in possibility.”

May the spirit of Anne of Green Gables accompany you into the New Year and may your longings, hopes, intentions and dreams be embraced, welcomed and moved forward.

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