Ohhh 2016. Bye Felicia.
2016 has not been a yippy skippy year for so many of us. Even if we ignore the plethora of untimely superstar deaths, it has been a tough year. Syria. Raft-borne refugees. Violence of every kind in every land. And though I’m not a big celebrity fan…David Bowie? Gene Wilder? John for-Pete’s-sake Glenn?
2017, come on in.
I welcome you, New Year, even though I know you are only a construct of human invention. Years, markers of seasons and harvests. Election cycles. Birthdays.
Each year, I wrestle with…sort out a credo for the year ahead – a north star. “Be here now.” was looking like the new year standard until I woke in pitch darkness with “Voyage of Discovery” solidly run up the pole for the 12 months to come.
Voyage of Discovery v. Be Here Now
“Be Here Now” is all mindfulness and awareness; I love it. But I am so over “being here” now or tomorrow or next week if I am not going anywhere. It feels sticky and sloughy.
Yes, get quiet and be here now with a regularity which opens your heart and mind to the fullness of living. But keep moving. Here and now.
Being here now has been a good path this season as I make better friends with the wealth of feels experienced. In quiet and thoughtfulness, I can eventually accept, embrace, and no longer fear what ragamuffin feelings may bring.
So many moments of this past year – so many nows – have been lovely. Adventuresome. Sweet. Hilarious. Unfettered. Fresh. A wide bold blue gouache has been swiped across the calendar. I’ve learned a lot. I’m learning still.
Which is why embarking on the 2017 Voyage of Discovery is so important. Sweet. Welcome. Wide open. Growth and adventure ahead.
“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind,” Seneca.
As discombobulating as the journey into the unknown is, it is forward movement. We stay in the here and now too long and our hearts and wonder may atrophy from lack of use. Or we can fling our hearts to the wind and chase them down on foot, dogsled, skis, or kayak. We will grow, see more, welcome what was once unknown – unfathomable even – into our living.
A voyage is a hopeful thing.
While voyaging, we know we will be changed. We pack our prayers and bags, load up fresh ink for the journal, grab an apple, take a bite, and go. (“Rise and eat for the journey is too great for you.”*)
We can plan our itinerary to the minute and no more know what we’ll encounter than had we thrown a dart at a map and bought a ticket to the place the dart landed. We are ripe for discovery.
As voyagers – journeying people – discovery happens any and everywhere. We move from our known mindsets to something new. The Krakkens of our disappointments will seek us in our journeying vulnerability. We grow stronger and more agile with each encounter.
We can try to predict exactly what’s ahead. I’m all for contingency plans, but if something sweet can fall off the rails with such dizzying force, surely the future has wondrous surprises, too. I bear witness to unknown winds pushing my tiny sinking boat to friendly shores. Paths unfolding. A way being made.
I am counting on such yet-knowns to rise in the way ahead.
Grad school begins in a few weeks. This is part of the current I’ve stepped into; it is not the destination. New faces, new places mean new friends and more discovery. I hope some travel is included in the Voyage of Discovery of 2017.
A little education, some intention, and a wintertime “wish list” will take me forward into unknown prairie waves.
And let’s face it, compared to the Endurance and Voyage of the Damned that has been 2016, a Voyage of Discovery in 2017 has every opportunity to give life rather than take it.
We must go out to meet it. If we don’t, who will? Who will discover the way ahead for us all if we good-hearted people don’t risk the journey?
Derring do on the way ahead. We are in this together.