Fare thee well, 2013. You weren't the easiest year, but I admit you kept it interesting. You pushed me to grow and grow up in many ways, some exciting, some difficult, all important. You forced me to learn and wrestle with myself, my relationships, my world.
I learned that my first cup of coffee and twenty minutes of solitude first thing each morning sets the tone for my day. I learned that I am calm when I allow this time and unsettled when I don't. So now this is my morning practice.
JB and I are spending more time in Provincetown and have begun to think about moving there full-time. Even now I walk along the side streets and am overjoyed by its quirky quaintness. And by the sea.
For a reason I can't explain, in the past year I began to care less about myself and my stubborn ways and more about people and circumstances outside and different from my comfortable life. I understand kindness and generosity in ways that now leave me feeling proud of myself.
More and more I notice buildings and dwellings of all kinds: the little store in Provincetown, the darling house JB and I still cannot believe we managed to buy. Never in our wildest dreams, but somehow we pulled it off. We are happy in this house and I think that will always be so.
And did I ever think gay rights would be commonplace? Never ever did I think that. And yet in America homophobia and barriers are crumbling, state by state. Not so everywhere, but if progress is measured in inches, this is miles.
And a little boy named Drew believed his new green sneakers had the power to make him faster. I am touched--make that transformed--by the children in my life. May I hold on to them for all of my life.
In 2013 I learned the deep and true value of friendship and the comfort of memory. I was deeply hurt a few years back--some but not all of my own doing--and I now know none of us is perfect. I more easily and graciously and gratefully accept my friends as they are, and I can ask that of them in return.
No gun control in 2013? After 26 children gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut? Shame on my country for this. We Americans will learn this lesson the hard way.
In July a baby girl was born. And I will never forget the joy when her brothers came to the hospital to meet her. Hello Reese. We welcome you with unlimited love.
I learned I love elephants and I joined in efforts to protect them. Did you know that young elephants do not leave their mothers until they are sixteen? So when circuses snatch them away for human entertainment when they are barely three years old, they and their families moan inconsolably. And of course you know elephants learn to sit and stand on their heads and do tricks only through subversive painful training. Boycott circuses. They are bad.
In July too at New England Baptist Hospital I had my left knee replaced, with titanium. No minor surgery, a long rehab, though I've done very well. But I still don't walk right. The knee is coming along but I have hip and back problems. I am aging. I am aware that I am aging. I'm not sure what to do about this except I know I have to attend and care better for my body. Not easy.
Sadie died. First our Stella died and then Jess and Mike's Sadie died. We will never forget.
And my wise cracking, good advice giving, dear dear friend Anne died. With total grace. I met her here on the blogs and it mattered not one bit that we had never "met" in person. I miss her even more than I was prepared to miss her.
JB and I gave Chase back to Greyhound Options, from whom we adopted him. We couldn't make it work. He was unhappy and aloof. He is now in a home with three other greygrounds and though he is still aloof, he is familiarly home. This was painfully hard for JB and me but I know it's been the right decision. We will always love and bless you, Chase. That much is certain.
My daughter's family and my grands: three boys and now a baby girl. My Jess is married to a very good man. I think it is true that a parent is only as happy as her children. I am so thankful.
I replaced my camera before year's end. Oh Provincetown: you make it so easy.
And finally, this last year I bathed in the love of family. Jess. JB. My Mom, who will turn 98 in two days.
And Me: some things don't change. Still Wondering, Still Raw, Still Grateful, Still Wise, and Still Ready.
The world is not as kind as I wish it to be but the kindness around me is huge. I hope I keep my end of that bargain, no matter what else.
Happy New Year. May be a good one in all ways large and small.