Looking Back, Looking Forward

The Roman god Janus looks backward and forward.

Looking back, looking forward.
These are the Days of Doorway,
of standing on the threshold
between the worlds of what was
and what will be.

What of the past will you choose to carry into the future? What will you cut loose and remove from your story? Perhaps we cannot revise the events of the past, but we can revise the way we tell them, the meaning we make from them. And the future stands wide open before us, waiting for us to take up the pen and create the tale to come.

Here’s an exercise you can try: Looking Back/Looking Forward. Without making intentional value judgments, consider some of the themes of your past year (looking back). Consider how you will carry them or cut them loose in the coming year (looking forward).

Looking back, I see that often in the past year, I allowed myself to be overcome with weariness. I allowed the waiting tasks to overwhelm my ability to be present in the moment.

Looking forward, I will have strategies to deal with weariness. I will try to keep naps and extra coffee for last resorts. I’ll start with a walk around the farm, seeking signs of foxes. I’ll make sure I take my vitamin. I’ll eat some protein. I’ll drink water. I’ll do my balance poses. I’ll stand up and take ten deep breaths.

Looking back, I see how I allowed the birth of a wonderful idea to begin to take hold of my soul, to find its way into the images and colors of my dreams.

Looking forward, I will nurture this dream like the tenderest of seeds, watering it, feeding it, giving it space to grow and develop. I will work for this one.

Looking back, I feel a sense of satisfaction in the accomplishment of having written at least a gratitude list almost every day. And I have done my balance poses with the John O’Donohue poem almost every day. I have begun naming my emotions more consistently before reacting. I have been less consistent with checking in with my energy, and I have neglected quiet meditation.

Looking forward, I will continue to write regularly, to stretch and breathe and recite my daily poem. I will keep checking in with emotion and energy, and focus on settling into meditation for five to ten minutes a day.

Gratitude List:
1. Milkweed seeds, tossed to the winds as a blessing.
2. Little round “eggs” of moss, blown off the garage roof.
3. Looking backward, looking forward.
4. Slaying my dragons.
5. Talking to Mara on the phone this morning.

May we walk in Beauty!

Moss and Magic

Gratitude List:
1. Science: The boys watched Bill Nye the Science Guy today.  They learned about mixing moss and milk or yogurt and then painting it on a surface, so we did that tonight.
2. Magic: Ellis used his moss mix to make a carpet for the faerie house under the sycamore tree.  Then they both ran inside asking to fill sea shells with milk and honey as a gift for the faeries.
3. Prayer: I am so sad and disheartened by the continuing medical struggles of a beautiful, wild, and gentle soul that I know.  I feel so hopeless and helpless, and prayer is a line that I hold onto.  Thin sometimes that line is, but real.  And strong.
4. Dreams: Last night’s dream was unsettling.  Still, I think it had a message which I will take to heart, a message for which I am grateful.
5. Poetry: During tonight’s class, three of us read papers on poems we’d read–William Stafford, Madeleine L’Engle, and Mary Oliver.

May we walk in Beauty!