I have a very exciting announcement Y'all.
IT IS OFFICIALLY SPRING!
Here in Seattle, we had the hardest winter recorded in the last 30 some years. Now I know that's not impressive the way it would be if we were North Dakota or Maine, but let me tell you - it sure was hard. It was dark and cold and wet and my big kid was sick for the last two months of it. AND I'M VERY EXCITED IT's OVER.
Today I walked into my yard and saw buds on every green thing and I prayed that there might be these same buds of possibility and growth in my life. That we might be nearing blossoming season.
That feeling, of new-ness, of hope and possibility and tomorrow, reminded me of the photographs I took at the new year. New Years can be a hard day to celebrate. Maybe you are tired of the holidays by then or have cooked all your special meals and have not a single idea for winter produce left. The weather is usually dismal and we are usually partied out, wanting to be alone and yet itchy in our own skin. Out of this yes/no/yes/no feeling our family had found a tiny meaningful tradition that works for us.
At sunset on the first day of the new year, (at around 3:30pm here) we make our way to the water. We live on a peninsula, in a city full of lakes and streams and rivers so its easy to find a body of water when you need one. This year (2 and a half short months ago) we went to Discovery Park and we hung around the lighthouse. The beach is always crowded on New Years Day and there's something about that shared public space that's wonderful. Strangers turned to friends via shared experience and a determination to smile even while your face freezes off. The sun is magical and my son is always very happy no matter how windy or how cold we are. It's like church should be - a safe place to shout or crying into the wind, to have the feelings you need to have.
It's one of my favorite traditions. Equal parts surprise and known, happiness and sorry, loneliness and together.
When I take these pictures, I know we may not get another sunset for months. That the grey will descend for all of January and February and that we will have to find other ways to warm our hearts and hands. I like this, this holding hope in the face of darkness.