Saturday, December 31, 2016

A New Year's Missive

I wrote this on 12/31/2013:

2013 has not been the best of years for some people, 2013 has been an average year for some people, 2013 has been the most incredible year ever for some people. We pause and reflect, we say goodbye then hello. We say good riddance and I shall miss you. Looking back is human nature, moving forward is a fact of science. We cannot freeze time, we cannot have any do-overs, we can only move forward.

Am I being too pragmatic, too matter of fact? Life is what it is, but what we take from it is the one thing we do have control over. Do we learn our lessons? Do we use our experiences, our opportunities to better the life and experiences that are ever coming at us?

I am here to tell you, dwelling on the past does not work. I know too many people that are fixated on a past glory or tragedy and they are not content.

Where is this meandering headed? Happy New Year. May the days to come bring you balance, contentment, love, grace, and hope.

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I shared this on 12/31/2012:

I wrote this on 12/31/2012:

I know a woman, a widow, in North Carolina who has two daughters, both married. The older daughter married a minister and they never had any children. The younger daughter, who is my age, married a man who had a son. She never had any children either. Her stepson committed suicide when he was 16. 

This woman and both of her daughters (I have known these people for over 20 years) have always been very materially motivated, very career oriented. They have stuff. Lots of stuff. They are not really happy though. The two daughters will be lonely, I fear, surrounded by all their stuff, because they live not in joy but in fear someone will get their stuff.

I do not have a lot of stuff. I am more prone to give things away than accumulate. I value intangibles, I think.

Just thinking about things today. Maybe I should have concentrated more on stuff when I was 30. Intangibles are not real good at paying the bills.

This year this has caught my attention:

I also wrote this on my Facebook timeline earlier in the week:

I have a small ritual I perform on New Year's Eve each year wherein I write on small slips of paper things I want to let go of and leave behind as I step into a new year with all the promise and possibility it holds. I then burn them, either in a small cauldron or in a bonfire if the weather permits having one. The ashes are carried away into the ether, and I go unencumbered into the new year. At times, I ask people if they would like me to include their petitions - but only people I know personally so I can gather the slips and include them in my fire of new beginnings and they can know the petition has not been read by any eyes save their own. This year, if you have a desire to be included, set your list on your heart and enter your name in a comment for this post. I will burn a blank paper for the list you have in your heart as I burn the slips I have for myself.

Tonight, we say a heartfelt farewell to 2016 and a hopeful hello to 2017. We think this has been a rough year – or a great many of us seem to – though I suspect that it has been no worse than most, and better than more than a few. There are those of us who have faced sorrow and loss that brought us to our knees, yet there are those who have triumphed and excelled in ways we never thought possible.

There is ever that pragmatist in me, those cellular memories that came from my paternal heritage. My father, Poss Smith, was the most pragmatic of people. He had a dry wit, and seemed unflappable in most circumstances. I shared extensively regarding my father on New Year's Eve 2011.

Later, I am burning my name slips for those whose accepted my offer. With Roger and I included, there are about 24 names for whom I am performing this ritual. I am amazed that 2017 is upon us. I feel strongly that these are times that hold high stakes on many fronts, and I am both optimistic and trepidatious to see what the next twelve months bring.

In closing I share again my words for 2017


~ Ellen Apple

Monday, December 26, 2016

Burrowing In

I was in a local store the first week in December and was enthralled with a soft, supple, luxurious throw. I purchased it for Roger the Tall for Christmas. As I am writing this, he is burrowed in that throw, snuggling with the Calico Queen Mabon. Though he is sleeping (I know this because of the soft snores), his body is resting, recharging, and replenishing.

Burrow: noun
1. a hole or tunnel in the ground made by a rabbit, fox, or similar animal for habitation and refuge.
2. a place of retreat; shelter or refuge.

2016 has been/was a tumultuous year. Not just in the United States but across the Earth. Major changes have occurred politically and there have been no small number of natural and manufactured disasters.  Economies and lifestyles people thought were secure and impenetrable have been upended and rearranged almost beyond recognition. For many, reality has been rearranged.

I was speaking with a dear friend this week and she asked me, “What do you see 2017 being?”

What followed was a discussion that lasted close to an hour, wherein we spoke of the overall mood of humankind considering recent events – not just locally or nationally, but globally. 

I shared with her that I see the year 2017 as being a time of more individual introspection, of drawing closer metaphorically – spiritually – physically – to our own core selves and values.

A time of burrowing in, to better withstand and not just survive but thrive in the months ahead.

A time to strengthen our beliefs.

A time to better define and replenish the bonds of our tribes.

Burrowing in is not to imply hiding, burying one’s head in the sand so to speak. For me, this burrowing in speaks of solidifying and strengthening myself to ride the peaks and valleys of events over which I have no actual control.

Reestablishing relationships I have let fall to the wayside, and finally letting go of some people and things that I know are to my detriment.

Shoring up my network. Keeping connected to my support system. Maintaining a more consistent sharing of energy and positivity.

Keeping grounded by limiting the drains on my time and energy that lull me into a stupor of passivity.

May your tribe be cohesive, may your spirit be replenished, may your refuge be secure.




~Ellen Apple