Last June I celebrated my 59th birthday and, as I began my 60th turn around the sun, I felt a need to be present to my life in ways that wouldn’t have made for interesting blog posts, or at least not in ways I wanted to explore in public.
I could say 60 is “just a number,” but I think it’s a number that represents a life shift and certainly signals a new decade is beginning, a kind of chronological beacon reminding me of life’s finitude.
I wanted to assess and set my course into “elderhood” with deliberate and authentic thought, rather than just allow my energy to drift into life’s next stage without purpose or clear intent.
I’ve made some decisions, set some demons running and made peace with others. I’ve gathered in joys, winnowed through relationships and sorted through possessions…I’m feeling lighter and clearer, but am mindful there are six months left to prepare for inaugurating my next decade, and whatever years I have left to “still become.” So, I continue to listen, sift, question, name and chart…
But it’s time for me to re-engage with sharing ideas and unveiling feelings and thoughts in my writing. I enjoy it and am ready to renew my practice.
The daily round has unfolded in darkness and light this past year, as it does every year; perhaps the darkness seems stronger and the blessings more precious because of the scrutiny I’ve brought to bear upon them, but I’m choosing to end the year on this, its holy and longest night, in gratitude and joy.
Despite the anger and violence that swirls through this old world and receives perhaps too much of our attention, I believe there so many, so very many reasons to be hopeful, to celebrate light and to share it, especially with the children inheriting what comes of our choices.
So on this Solstice Night leading to our great celebrations of Love’s rebirth, I choose to honor the light that has shone in my life and throughout the world this year, and pray that the New Year will be even brighter. How else can love set the world on fire but through our choices to share its light, moment by moment, day by day?
I’m grateful for those I love and with whom I celebrated some of my life’s milestones this past year.
I’m grateful for friends who share their arts with the world and surprise me with gifts.
I’m grateful for companions who share my days and illuminate even the smallest moments with their spirits.
I’m grateful for my home and the gardens we’ve tended and the harvests we’ve enjoyed.
I’m grateful for the wild things who bless my life and teach me deep lessons about presence, coexistence, conservation and compassion.
I’m grateful for former students who check in and let me know how hard they’re working to tend their many gifts and keep the light shining.
I’m grateful for the many, many people I know or know about, who share their gifts, their energy, their arts, and their wealth with others, who speak truth to the cruel, the wasteful, the fearful, and the angry and so diminish their power.
I’m grateful for the children with whom I’m able to spend my days. They keep me young in spirit, creative, joyful, and ever hopeful.
And I am most grateful for a partner determined to be as honest and intentional on his path as he is in supporting my own journey. I’m especially grateful for the laughter we co-create.
May we light the fires of joy around us in the coming year; may we love wildly and laugh often; may we be quick to forgive, and to feed upon hope.
And may we be kind.
Blessings upon your gatherings, your partings, your celebrations, your prayers, and the creative use of your energy. And may your New Year be light-filled, delightful and joyful.
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14 thoughts on “Holy Night”
You’ve taken the course of sharing what you love, and what you’re grateful for… May your blessings enrich us all, and may your modest approach to life with love in your heart be an encouragement too, for the many who share your desires and truly appreciate the wonders of this life. Wishing you a beautiful holiday, and a happy and healthy new year, Kitty.
Oh, thank you, Shimon, and know that my love and wishes for your joy, good health and peace are winging their way to you as well. I love your stories and thoughts, and especially the photos of your beautiful city, family, friends, and sweet animal companions.
Thank you for a beautiful post. I, too, choose the light in this dark time. I wish more people would see they have choices.
Thank you so much, Amma! We’ll keep reminding them, OK? Have a joyful new year! 🙂
Oh My Goodness!!! You made my day Kitty! I was wondering where you had drifted to and whether you would return. So very glad you did and I loved your wonderful words and pictures! I truly hope you and the family have a loving and peace filled Christmas and many wishes and hopes for your new year fulfilled…You don’t look 59 btw!! Much to young and vibrant. Happy holidays my friend. By the way if you ever want to come to my blog you have to go to my new one:
Be well and keep that delightful smile. Blessings and love…VK
How lovely to hear from you, and such nice compliments, too, speaking of making one’s day! Good to know where to find your blog, too…I feel like I’m getting back in the loop. Joyful holidays to you, too, VK. 🙂 Thank you for your your kind words!
Awwww……how lovely! Firstly, I have to say I’m grateful for you!
You do have so many blessings in your life, your four-leggeds are all beautiful, and how unusual your first and last cat are, I couldn’t imagine a home without our animal friends, they are always there to love and comfort us.
Good friendships are a blessing and those students look delightful, I can imagine they a handful though….bless them.
I love your wildlife, it’s so diverse, are those turkey hens?
It’s so good to have you back and see yours and Philips’ smile….you will never have to worry about looking your age, that’s for sure. All the very best to you all for Christmas and the New Year.xxxxx
Thank you, Dina! Yule blessings and a New Year of joy! You bless my life and I’m so grateful for the gift of you. 🙂
Little Fergus is the first cat; he followed me home two years ago. And Finnegan (Finny) is the last and our eldest…he is a lover who likes to cozy up to me and offer smooches. The pups will be 14 this year, so we’re counting our blessings every day. 🙂
As I write, it’s pouring rain and we’re wishing it were snow, but no chance of it for Christmas. We’ll be merry, anyway!
Love to you and yours!
Gosh….the first cat is FERGUS???? Last time I saw him he was ginger! It’s so nice to see them all close up! Finny looks more like a cougar than a cat!
Sorry about the typo’s on my last comment…Holly was on my knee and chewing my hand….she is adorable but time consuming, but time well spent, Christmas will be on a wing and a prayer this year, I am a believer in thinking that everything happens for a reason, so she must be meant to be here for a while…. she is sleeping at the moment…PEACE, glorious peace! You enjoy your darling pups, how well they look, and the present is a gift, …..shame about the snow! xxxxx
I’m so glad you’re willing to provide some stability for Holly; I know she’s a handful, and more…Fergus has always seemed kind of pinky-beige, very strangely colored, but such an interesting little face. In some light, his coat can look more ginger, but Mully (Mulligan) is the perfect ginger…they’re all such distinct characters.
Yes, for a reason, indeed: lucky Holly, to have found a place to maybe come to know herself and feel more secure…at any rate, to feel loved for no reason except she’s here.
Bless you, Dina, and your open-armed family. 🙂
What a wonderful year-end post! May the New Year bring you joy!
And to you! Thank you for visiting, and know how much I enjoy those beautiful posts you create from Ohio! 🙂
Kitty, what a beautiful message you have shared. I am a fellow traveler on this journey in the last third of life and equally determined to find my way – your messages always remind me of the things I have forgotten or ignored and gratefulness for your words always is a part of reading your posts. Your celebration of living, in all of its tapestry of light and dark, inspires me and reminds me that the less traveled path is of great value. Thank you.
Thank you, Lynn; we light the way for one another…and what a great companion you are on this journey! I appreciate your many gifts and kindness so very much. It’s a jolly path, isn’t it?