A New Year’s Wish

There are two places I’ve found that return me immediately and firmly to a sense of stillness within and connection to the world around me. One is hiking in sandstone canyons. The other is cross-country skiing through a silent forest.

I was reacquainted with my cross-country skis a few weeks ago. We’d gotten about 20″ of snow in the preceding 36 hours. The storm was clearing away and the sky was a brilliant blue sprinkled with departing clouds.

The first ski of the season usually finds me feeling a little clumsy and awkward. This time was no exception. It calls for a deeper level of focus; centering my full awareness in the present moment. But soon my mind settled into stillness, the muscle memory kicked in and I was at home again.

On that beautiful December day deep in the forest, surrounded by tracks of the creatures that had passed this way before me, greeted by the hawk and nourshed by the sun, I found that deep and profound sense of oneness. It’s a meditation and a celebration. It’s a guide and a metaphor. Everything I am and everything I long to be can be found in moments like these. I am part of all that surrounds me – neither more, nor less. I belong. And so does everything around me.

For you it may not be a snowy forest or a sandstone canyon. But you have your ways and your places where you are so at home that there is no deeper peace or greater joy. Whatever that is, my wish for you, at the opening of the new year, is that you go there. Soon. And often.


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