The first day of any new year seems so special, doesn’t it? We plan for it, take off from work in honor of it, and tend to create traditions to celebrate it. But I think there is something unique and even more special about today. Do you feel it? Something has shifted within my energy and I am so glad for that change. Now, more than ever before, I see all people – be they “friends” or “foes” – as teachers and all circumstances – be they “good” or “bad” – as lessons. Every interaction is a chance to learn if we only “get out of our own heads” as a very wise woman and dear friend puts it.
Some say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you will do for the rest of the year. I believe that is true, not because I’m superstitious but because I believe in Charles C. Noble’s observation: “First we make our habits and then our habits make us.” This morning, I made some healthful, traditional food (black-eyed peas and sauteed collards) and took Bella for a long walk. NoiPhone. No music. Just me and my girl enjoying the sound of leaves rustling on a sunny, brisk day. It was so peaceful and so perfect. I found my center, and focused on gratitude. I felt grateful for breath, mobility, a free spirit, family, friends, purpose, energy, and so much more.
As I reached the halfway point of my walk through my neighborhood, I noticed an older woman standing in the driveway of a home up ahead. She seemed to wait for something or someone as she stared into the garage. I then saw a man who I suspect was her husband. He brought a bike down the steep driveway, guiding it by the handle bars, and placed it next to her. It was a three-wheeled bicycle. I don’t know why, but there was something about it that was so endearing. The woman climbed on the bike, sat for a moment to get her bearings, I suppose, and pedaled on to the street, heading toward me as I walked in the opposite direction. The look on her face was pure joy. Her crinkly eyes sparkled in the January air and her wrinkled, speckled face and hands soaked up the sun. It seemed as though she had been waiting for a long time to get back on her bike. It was so obvious that she appreciated it. The man who brought the bike out of the garage to her stood in the driveway and stared at the woman as she rode off down the street and around the corner. I waved hello to him and saw that he, too, had a kind face with sparkling, crinkly eyes. It made my heart smile.
I don’t know that woman or that man and I don’t know their story. But I do know that what I witnessed this morning was a special human experience. They were both teachers and the lessons I received were: 1. It is never too early in the day (or the year) or too late in your life to appreciate the beauty of simple things. 2. Find joy in helping other people find their joy, even if you aren’t meant to tag along for that part of their journey.
This year and every year, I pray that you and I relish all that this life has to offer. Let us be observant and conscious of how we move in the world because we matter and we will leave a legacy, whether or not we try. We will all inspire something in someone today. Make it something positive. Why not make a habit of that, while we’re at it?
Happy New Year to you. Do and be well today and the rest of your days.
Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net