“Another year older, and a new one just begun…” ~ So sang John Lennon in Happy Christmas (War is Over)
2015 hasn’t begun yet, but it’s just a sneeze away. With another year under our belts, we sometimes can’t help but reflect. All the New Year cliches come out of the woodwork. We either stay away from, or join, the nearest gym. We think about all the things we accomplished in the year that is ending, and all the things we failed to do. We think about all the things we hope to accomplish in the upcoming year, all the things we know we will miss out on.
It’s just that time of year.
2014 was my year of travel. I will probably never travel as much in one year as I did in 2014. I did British Columbia, Spain, Paris, New York, Quebec City and Orlando, Florida. Capped it all off with a swing-by of Stratford, Ontario this past weekend. (-:
I made many new friends and experienced too many phenomenal things to list here. I grew through walking across Spain on the trail to Camino De Santiago. I walked up mountains and down mountains and through mountains.
I stopped to smell the flowers, to laugh, to cry, to make amends. I stumbled barefoot through mud and rocks and grass. I had a picnic like never a picnic was ever had before, or ever will be had again…at the apex of a beautiful hill, in tall grass with friends–fellow peregrinos.
I met a man I hardly shared words with, but who made me weep like a baby, a pilgrim from France who had found more than he had ever bargained for on the Camino…the love of a million pilgrims and one. He was that special.
I shouted into the rain and walked through snow. And at the end of the long journey, I walked into a city more beautiful than any emerald one could ever be. And, by some stroke of magic, I saw all those I had met along the way. I stood on the roof of THE Cathedral and viewed that beautiful city in 360 degree splendor from that holiest of lofty places.
I walked the quiet morning back-roads of Galiano Island with the wild wind at my back and the Pacific Ocean at my side.
I saw Canadian flags wave greetings from boats in a tiny harbour there, while the Canadian Rockies in the background swallowed up anything else in my view.
I stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower and scanned a city heretofore a mere dream to me…a fantasyland where Fitzgerald and Hemingway wined and dined and wrote and sang and lived. Never did Paris mean more to me than that, until I was there. It opens anew to each visitor, presents a unique place in the heart of each guest. I stomped up the Champs-Élysées with my new friend, Nina, and together we took on the endless spiral staircase inside the Arc de Triomphe and we stood at the top exhausted and filled with light and love and we smiled on the fair city that stretched out in fingers away from the tower.
Together we walked the Tuileries, and sat for mayhaps a little too long sipping red wine while the sun went down and the rats in the bushes beside us scurried.
We drank absinthe at a lovely little outdoor cafe, where we admired shoes and broke glasses and laughed until we were sore…nay, until we soared! With our group, THE LEFT BANK WRITERS RETREAT, we wandered museums, we took the Metro, we walked Montmartre, we wrote in Le Jardin de Luxembourg, we entered the great WORD CATHEDRAL—SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY. We entered Shakespeare & Company! After decades of imagining it.
I don’t care that I am running on and on, for with each word comes another remembrance. My year. My year!
CHARLIE. And CHARLIE. AND CHARLIE. CHARLIE! In the midst of it all was born a beautiful boy. Little Charlie Bucket, who will one day know what that means.
What it’s like to step inside Notre Dame Cathedral when it’s empty at eight in the morning (mark that down! At ten, the lines are so long you could die before entering!) is something that will stay with me for ever. It is a simultaneous feeling of being infinite and of being nothing at all. And to think, I stayed only a couple of minutes up the road from that most famous of cathedrals…the centre point of the old universe itself.
Later, I stood atop Rockefeller and looked down at the most famous park in the world and wondered at its vastness and its nothingness. A green thick and wild and in the centre of one of the world’s most thriving and populated meccas.
And the lady of the harbour, I saw her too.
And to walk the streets of Old Quebec City after wandering the streets of Paris is to know the connection. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
An ocean between the two places, and a hint of the struggle that came with building the second in the shadow of the first.
Each beautiful, each unique. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
OOH! Disney and Universal in Orlando. Something MAGIC this way comes!
I’m another year older, yes. But I’m also so much younger. I have learned a great deal in 2014. I am grateful for every new soul in my life. Each and every one of you!
I thought I would write a few words about my year and move on to Things to Come. Sorry…that just came out of its own accord.
So on with THINGS TO COME. What will 2015 have in store for me.
On January 19th, my 5th novel will be released! HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN won the Muskoka Novel Marathon‘s BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD! Now, it’s going to be available to all to read. It’s actually already available for pre-order at Amazon:
What of THIS TOO SHALL PASS, you ask? This was something I always promised myself of all the bad things. And now it is something I realize happens also with all the good. So—grab onto every single moment you have. Every single one. Hold on for dear life and enjoy the ride. Whether it is good or bad, it is fleeting. This too shall pass…