Circling into the year

I like when years don't have defined edges, places where you can mark clear beginnings, endings, a specific indication of time lapses, lapsing. Years are measure, ways to see an aging in ourselves, in others. But at that edge between what was and what is to be, I often sit grateful, reminded of what is rather than what isn't, might not be. When the calendar announces the end of a year moving into the start of another, I can't help but reflect a bit, look forward, wonder as if it is a reset, a tabula rasa.

Perhaps it's because of travel--most years Nan and I are fortunate enough to disappear a bit, closing out the year somewhere away or usher in the year somewhere away. Last year we leapt from 2014 into 2015 on the beach in Isla Mujeres, a quiet escape into recovery, a needed rest, stillness. 2015 began there, eating while our feet played with sand, fish pulled from the water before us, grilled while I remembered patience, how to sit, sky staring.

And then life whirls, a slow steady at times, quickening its pace, clouding intentions. I set intentions and forge successfully. I set intentions and forget to follow, get lazy, tired, forgetful.

This year, we finished in Mexico, but this time in Mexico City and Oaxaca, the latter a new place, a discovery. Instead of the sky, I stared all around, lost in the unknown, enthralled by celebrations and foods. Days filled with ancient cultures, conversations with people that still resonate and make me consider as I move slowly and firmly into 2016, ready to work, even when the work is difficult, even when it's easier to coast in boredom.

Early in the trip we ventured for a day with Enrique, an engineer turned tour guide after losing his job, a man who is grateful for the work, despite long days and only 10 days off in a year. We spent hours with Victor and Bulmaro, artisans proud of their lineage, devoted to their craft. Each day left me alert, engaged, noticing the everything I sometimes forget to see.

When the year starts to speed, I might forget a bit, fall back. But for now, this moment, I am in it.


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