31 was an amazing year, a wild ride. I could give you a highlight reel of adventures but not all the good + hard things that pushed my shell further open happened in the mountains or the ocean or on a river.
More than anything I began to learn that life is a journey, but more than that — *I* am a journey. I’m a wild ride myself, a process in process.
Jack Kornfield says “Everything changes, right? Birth and death and gain and loss and pleasure and pain — it’s dualistic to be incarnated in the human body. Night and day. It’s woven out of the opposites and it’s constantly changing. Maybe you know you’re not separate from the rest of the world, that every breath you take has molecules that drifted across Mauna Loa in their way across the Pacific Ocean, some that came from the Amazon, from chemical weapons in Syria, the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the first breaths of newborns born around the world — we are a river that’s always changing. What seems in our ordinary consciousness fixed and solid shows itself in reality to be a flow. And when we get quiet enough we start to realize we are not solid, we are a process — it’s true!
So, we stop to pay attention and can’t find a single thing that’s not changing. And it’s all interconnected.”
This year I celebrated the beginnings of dear friends’ marriages, and felt ragged, cruel death before its time. I experienced my last living grandparent no longer able to match my name with my face, and the young daughter of a close friend learn to say my name when she sees me. I saw two friends diagnosed with cancer, and two more people I love finally reach a breathing point in their battles with cancer. I have learned to love myself more, while also giving myself more selflessly to the compromise, humility, courage, and kindness required for a thriving marriage.
At times I questioned what really mattered in life, and then I felt the answer, that it all matters. If we care, if it makes us feel delight or tenderness or laughter or connection or vitality or just simply alive, it matters. And it’s always changing. We’re always changing. So, 31 was a year of great change. 32 will be too. I know I’m lucky to be here.