by winteryder


I started the year with hope. Cradling it in open hands, willing it to live, to spark, to BE. I started the year as I’d begun the one before, living in a tiny dry cabin with my daughter and our giant Maine coon cat. I started the year hauling six gallon jugs of water so we could wash dishes, cook and clean. I started the year… exhausted. Weary. Broken. Holding on with both hands to a decade-long relationship that was fractured beyond repair.

I am ending this year with hope. I have become acceptance, hope and contentment. In the face of all the odds, I am flying solo with powerful wings. I let go. I walked away, and kept on walking, from things that did not heal me, restore me, inspire me, delight me.

As the year closed out, I count my losses: decade-long partnership permanently dissolved, sweet Daisy kitty tiptoeing across the Rainbow Bridge…

And I hold these losses gently, knowing that they, too, are successes. The very fact that I was able to choose wisely and well, communicate my needs, patiently wait for a year and a half for reciprocity… and then close the book… that is a success. The fact that I no longer need to be held at arm’s length, no longer choose to be in a relationship with someone who is permanently emotionally unavailable: that is a success. The fact that I am actively choosing to be mentally and physically healthy is a success. The fact that I have identified who I am and begun to celebrate that every day… that I am happy in my own skin… that I am no longer afraid of my own strength, passion, articulation, communication, conversation being “too much” for someone else- that is success. That is growth.

That I stood beside my daughter as she held Daisy through her transition to her next tomorrow… that we gave her the gift of a beautiful life and made every sacrifice necessary to see it through… that is success.

I have learned to love. Wholly, without reserve, with all my heart, body, mind and soul… love without conditions… first, myself. And also, those dear to my heart.

As 2015 ends, I am thankful. For all that it brought, for the emptiness and the vast loneliness. For the silence. I am thankful for the fellowship of community, for good friends who grew closer through the year, for the mind-bending pain that opened my heart, my vision, perspective, horizons.

As 2016 begins, I am shifting to “Drive”. I am unstuck. I am picking up my physical and virtual pen and writing a new book in tiny chapters, in sweat and blood and tears and the echo of the wind through a hundred remote valleys.

Ride with me, if you will, in this year to come. Or better yet, drive your own (car, truck, bike, legs) and travel your own road. Here’s to crossing paths with those who make our lives better, brighter, just by Being. Here’s to you. Here’s to me.

Let’s ride.