A Gathering of Days…

There is something terribly intimidating, and also exhilarating, about a blank page. Full of potential. Unstained, as yet. You could write anything there…

January always feels like that to me.

But Janus, the Roman God for whom this month is named, had two heads. One for looking forward, and one for looking back. As I have been hunkered down in my house today, sheltering from the cold, I have done a fair bit of both.

I would be lying if I said 2017 brought only good things. There were significant challenges, some of which are following us into 2018. But there have also been a great many gifts. Herein, I share a few of those…

Winter

A school holiday in January occasioned an explore…with the deer whisperer.

Spring

A late snow in March dusted the Azalea blossoms. The two snowflakes whose singular forms are on display were a surprise. Do you see them?

In April, Josh dazzled audiences with his artful portrayal of Lurch in The Addams Family.

In May, Mike and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a Baltic cruise. It was an extraordinary experience which should have rated several blog posts. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Our cruise originated in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nyhavn was a highlight among highlights for the brightly painted buildings, the wooden ships, and the people watching.

The Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful buildings I have ever encountered. Every surface was covered in art; mostly dazzling mosaics because the abundance of rain in St. Petersburg is hard on frescoes. 

Our second day in St. Petersburg was a Sunday. We walked into the Church of St. Nicholas during the liturgy. We had been there only a few minutes when they began to sing a hymn that I knew our parish would be singing later that morning. The language, of course, was unfamiliar, but the melody was exactly the same. And in this far away place, we were home.

Summer

Summer was a season of extravagance. The lavender swallowed the sidewalk, and baby girl walked among it charming the bees and butterflies. Roses and hydrangeas decorated the windowsill and we ate our weight in tomatoes.

We went to the beach with family in July, and to the county fair in August. Making all the memories…

Fall

September was a celebration of friendships old and new. Mike and I traveled to Vancouver to visit our Camino friends David and Jan, then joined Jan’s brother Doug and his family for a couple of days on gorgeous Mayne Island. From there, we flew to Los Angeles where Josh met us for the wedding of sweet Gatlin whom we have known since birth. Later in the month, some of the most extraordinary ladies I know gathered round my table.

In October, I had my first performance with the Nashville Symphony Chorus: Haydn’s Creation. It was a magnificent experience. (Honestly, even the rehearsals are pretty amazing.) Then in December we sang Messiah for four nights. My brother and his family drove down for the final performance, and there were about 30 people from church there as well–including our bishop! Hallelujah! 😉

December was family and worship and tradition and God with us.

Not everything has been captured in pictures, of course. For instance, I started a couple of new jobs. I began working at Yarrow Acres, my favorite gardening store in downtown Franklin, in the spring. It has been a wonderful experience. I have the best co-workers and we meet interesting people from all over the country world. I also began substitute teaching at Kenzie’s school this fall. The teachers and staff have been super welcoming and the students are awesome. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, so this has been a year of experimenting and trying things on.

My heart is full of gratitude for family and friends who amplify every joy and soften the sorrows. And I look at the blank page that is 2018 with curiosity and hope. Time to start writing…