Merry & Bright

It’s a new year.fireflies-mason

Whatever last year was (or yesterday even), is gone.

Conditions may appear the same as before, news may sound as if it is on repeat, and joys may bob about their ebb and flow. But thanks to Time’s forward shuffling, today is new. New year. New day. New derring do.



Last night I hopped out of the Vibe ready to dash across a wide yard and into the warm glow of an old stone building. With an optimistic 13° F + wind chill, my windshield had hardly defrosted in the 10 mile trek out of town to this meeting.

One look into the blisteringly cold night and I had to stop.
The stars. 

As the Kansas wind hurtled over the Konza prairie, around my bare ankles, and through my flimsy professional jacket, stopping to look skyward was the only appropriate action.

It was so Quiet.

An icy wind flash froze those rolling hills and “Merry & Bright” came to mind.

Merry & Bright. I had already written a blog by that name yesterday during lunch. One of compassion towards lonesome friends and strangers. Courage to get uncomfortable and invite people into the circle…the conversation. Gratitude for the people in my living.

“I distinctly envisioned shivering hungry people looking into warm homes while families feasted. The scene I imagined was along the lines of the old carol “Here we come a-wassailing.”

“We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children,
Whom you have seen before.” (Wikipedia)

I decided one thing December 26: if I ever have a home-full again or even a home-shared with another, I want to SEE the folks who may be alone and invite them in. And not just on Christmas Day.”

Those stars changed everything.

From shivering against the cold to arms wide open in wonder, I did not want to go inside.

I wanted to drink in the wonder and let it fill my heart again; to reignite imagination where time and tiredness had dimmed the hope which travels with wonder.

A small speck of bright moon contended with the shine of stars. Its earnest warmth and the sparky optimism of those stars on such a ridiculously frigid night made me laugh.

We are too easily chilled.
Our hearts dim.
We age out of wonder if we are not careful.

And sometimes wonder is the only thing which warms us. Like the candles people use in solemn services of faith or community, wonder – when shared – will ignite each wick* made available to it.

It’s 2017. An uncertain beginning. I’m packing wonder into this new year, this voyage of discovery. When derring do fails (and it will), wonder will keep hope alive enough to continue the walk forward.

Join me.

+   +   +

*wickwik/ noun

  1. 1.

    a strip of porous material up which liquid fuel is drawn by capillary action to the flame in a candle, lamp, or lighter.

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