The days grow shorter, the leaves come down, the temperatures drop, and I’m already thinking in terms reviewing 2015 for lessons learned and memories to save. This was not an easy year for me–too many deadlines, more than a few disappointments, even disappointments I have to honestly label as betrayals.
And the issue with a betrayal isn’t (usually) that somebody has abused my trust. Some people do that. It’s the lingering sense that I’m not smart enough to see the Undertoads hopping in my direction. I’m STILL not smart enough to see the Undertoads coming, though I’ve certainly thinned their ranks as the years have gone by. Undertoads are the thorns on the flowers of life. Their lies steal stuff–money, property, time–but they also steal trust and self-confidence, and for that, I hope the cosmic scales weigh them heavily.
But 2015 has also been a terrific year. I’ve published a lot of material I’m proud of (some of it on this blog!), I’ve maintained dear friendships, my loved ones are mostly thriving, and my health is in many ways quite good. More significantly, my dreams are in tact, and that’s an enormous sign of a life on the right track.
Several experiences are topping my current list of Wow! for 2015, about which I’ll be blogging in the weeks to come. The first was being in Edinburgh last spring during a solar eclipse. With my nose in a book or a manuscript, and me having an allergy to what passes for news these days, my awareness of the coming event was vague. Eclipses happen, seen a few partials, the light gets funny…. they move on.
But this one was nearly a full eclipse. The entire outline of the moon was visible passing in front of the sun, and it so happened this occurred in the middle of a lovely, sunny morning. EVERYBODY went outside, stood around, chatted, and watched (indirectly if they were prudent) what was going on in the heavens. Business stopped, gossip stopped, deadlines were pushed aside.
The light became beautiful, ethereal clouds drifted past, making the outline of the moon even more observable, people got quiet. Many pictures were taken, but for once, the selfie-angle photo was aimed away from the self. Magic was in the air, along with a sense of “I’ll remember this when I’m old and feeling un-special.”
For a few minutes, nobody was grouchy, nobody was unappreciated, nobody was worried about the afternoon’s presentation. To a small and benevolent degree, the individual isolation we glorify as privacy and “personal autonomy” was muted in shared wonder.
That was my first morning of a trip that had many moments of wonder, but it was also a Big Deal. Everywhere I looked, I saw strangers… and I didn’t. I saw people, regular, hard-working, heart-hoping, people, just like me, and it was good.
The Undertoad took a kick in the tail, too, and that was also a fine thing.
Have you started your year end retrospection yet? Any Wow’s or Wonderfuls to share? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Daniel’s True Desire, which is one of those accomplishments this year I’m proud of.