A Brief Look at 2010

My Beautiful Sister

I’m taking a moment today to look at the year.  I can safely say that I think most of us do this once Christmas and its holiday cheer and madness is over.  It’s a time of reflection and thought and questions and answers.

My sister and I, as teenagers, started a tradition that I still do today, 17 years later … we write ourselves a “New Years’ Letter”.  So, on the night of New Years’ Eve, we open the previous letter from the previous year, and find ourselves reading through pages and pages of memories from, what seems like, an eternity ago (amazing what a year does to us!).  We fill these letters with hopes and dreams, events and landmarks, answers to the years’ previous questions, and end it with questions to our future selves.  I can’t even tell you how many times we have cried over these letters; or how many times we have laughed so hard, for so long until we choked from lack of oxygen; or exchanged glances as we read the other’s letters, with a knowing look and a slight nod of our head and say, “mmhmm”.   We share our deepest secrets, and exchange our letters.  This is something we have done, when once upon a time we shared a small room saturated in crumpled homework, tea bags and tea cups, love letters never meaning to be sent, The Beatles Greatest Hits tape playing, and stayed up until the sun came up.

Now as “grownups” and having left Neverneverland, we haven’t been able to share the New Years’ Eve tradition for quite some time.  We still write our letters (and sometimes cheat by writing it a month-later, or use the laptop, or email it to each other on New Years’ Eve), but I always, always hold those days of us as young girls readying ourselves for young adulthood sharing with one another those dreams of the future so strongly in my heart. But this year, things are back on track: my sister & I get to share our wonderful tradition with each other once again.  In spite of sounding like a 14 year old girl again, will this year be the year where all our hopes and dreams come true??

What are some of your New Years’ traditions?  Or what are some of your hopes and dreams for 2011?

 

 

The Little Visitor

Our back garden burst into color this week (finally – after a long bout of unusual wet and chilly weather here in the Pacific Northwest, the sun has finally made her appearance).  The daisies are back.  The fuschias  bloomed.  The sweet peas sweetly opened.  The clematis, though hiding behind our pompous grapevine, are shyly saying hello.  And there’s this big, beautiful, show-off of a red flowery plant that I don’t know the name of.  It looks like this:

… So, feel free to let me know what it is!  I’ve tried asking around (by foolishly trying to describe it: “Oh, you know.  It’s this big RED plant with, uh, lots and lots of green spindly leaves this big that look like tall blades of grass.  The flowers go pew! pew! out like a, um, like a lot of other little red flowers.  And it’s really big.  Did I mention it’s red?” … Needless to say, people look at me and tell me, “Sorry, I don’t know what plant you’re describing.  A fuschia?”).  I suppose I can always snip off a branch and show it to my local nursery.

Today, however, while admiring this big mystery plant, I heard the welcoming sound of an old friend.  The hummingbird.  This mystery plant is not only gorgeous, but the hummingbirds go crazy over it!  And I mean crazy.  In the mornings it’s not an unusual sight to see four or five hummingbirds at the same time drinking the sweet nectar from the mystery plant.  They’re such darling little birds.  They’re like a cross between a butterfly, a fairy, and a small bird.  And with such sweet music.  Welcome back, little ones!

A Life So Deer

I woke up this morning with the soft rainfall and misty skies beckoning me to stay inside my cozy messy house.  When I say messy, I mean messy.  Crumpled up papers everywhere (why so must waste? I really should think about this), teacups lazily sitting on the piano, a wool blanket hanging over a very red and very kid-friendly (translation: dirty) sofa, half-eaten apple on my computer desk, and just stuff everywhere imaginable.  But it’s home.  It’s our home, where my family and I feel comforted and relaxed and able to spend a day together with over-sized t-shirts and warmed conversations over tea and toast.  It’s sometimes in these moments, as well, where I fall in love with my husband all over again; his cinnamon eyes, his soft deep voice asking me if I’d like “another cuppa tea”, and his disheveled hair.  And then, in this realization, a deer comes into the front garden, nibbles some leaves and my heart swells in complete enchantment.