The New Year Dance


For Writers Island prompt: Embark

When I hear the word embark, I immediately see a foot swinging forward to take that first step. That step of beginning. It is the first day of a New Year, a definite beginning. But, to embark suggests the beginning of a journey of some sort. And a new year holds the promise of a new journey, a new layer of meaning to our lives. It brings with it not just promise, but also fear, maybe a bit of anxiety about what to expect, or what might be expected of us. We simply don’t know, can only begin by taking that first step.

The past year has been so full of people and things. Experiences rich with deep emotions, and deeper meanings unfolding before me. I lost a beloved parent through death. I met and became a member of a flourishing community of poets and writers, and embrace many of them now, as friends. I had two stents put in my heart, and found resolution to some of my oldest wounds and issues. I have written more and better poetry, following the path of words that stretches out in front of me. I have welcomed a new granddaughter and healed more than one floundering relationship. I have found new colors for my world and walls. I have learned so many things. And the list just keeps growing.

I have surprised myself many times in these past twelve months. And I honestly look forward to more of the same in this New Year. I am not foolish enough to believe there will only be good things in store in the coming months. Life doesn’t work that way. But, I take these first tentative steps with more hope than last year. I believe last year, I was still waiting.

Didn’t know what I was waiting for back then. Something new? Different? Now know, I was waiting for me. For the Elizabeth I have found in these past months. She’d been hiding for several reasons. Ducking her head, trying to figure out what the hell she was supposed to be doing. Then life happened. Life, with all of its surprises, came along and she couldn’t just sit back and hide anymore. And she didn’t.

That was the best of those surprises I spoke of earlier. Life happened and I survived, went right past survival and actually flourished. I think one of the things we often fail to recognize is that each new year is a place to celebrate our own survival. And no, I didn’t meet every challenge with confidence and my head up and chin out. I ducked several times. But, life goes on, and eventually I did open my eyes, look up, and knew what I had to do, and did it. On the other hand, there were times when I leapt in and refused to cave to the doubts and fears that normally attach themselves to daily endeavors. I found a balance, and that in turn allowed me to keep moving forward, and dare I say it, even dance.

In my book, those are not small feats. They are mile markers, both the ducking and the leaping. And each one was just another lesson to be learned. I do love learning. When I look back on this past year, I can actually see myself walking into a me I had formerly only hoped might exist, somewhere. And I consider the years before that, practice for doing so.

We dance, two steps forward, one step back. I like the dance my life has become. I like its rhythms, and its movements because they are mine, made up of my own choosing. I am dancing right now. I expect that this new year will bring new music, new words, new rhythms, new colors, and definitely new lessons to be learned. And I know, beyond a doubt, I am stepping more lightly into it than ever before. That alone holds both promise and hope.

My wish for each of you is that you too will find your own rhythms, make your own music, and step more lightly into whatever the future holds. Our lives can only be what we ourselves make of them. What are you making? Will you step out on the floor and dance?


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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18 Responses to The New Year Dance

  1. kaykuala says:

    An excellent round up of almost a similar happening. I can relate to that. The trials and tribulations, the sad episodes, the near misses and some silver linings. It all adds up to life’s offerings and of how we make of them. Very good Liz, very philosophical and also very real. It bodes well for the coming year. Happy New Year to you and may life’s happiness come very much your way, Ma’am!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hello Kaykuala. I am so glad you enjoyed and could relate to what was perhaps the most event filled year I had a in long time. And I really appreciate your words of encouragement and support. However, I have worked hard to grow into my name, a name I was never expected to use. Words, and names carry definitions. Mine is Elizabeth and I prefer it to any other. Thank you again, for your kind and generous comments and I hope your New Year is filled with warmth and laughter,


  2. systematicweasel says:

    An excellent post for the new year! So much has happened this past year, now it’s time to walk forward into something new =) Nicely written work.

    -Weasel =D

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Larry, have missed seeing you here and glad to have you back. Yes, it has been a very full year in so many ways, and on so many levels. I do believe it’s time to dance. Hope your New Year is filled with new words and meanings,


  3. This writing has a wonderful rhythm, much of the rhythm you speak of in the dance. I think I could dance to this piece! Two steps forward and one step back. Beautifully conceived, beautifully executed. Let’s dance together in the new year! Happy, Happy!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Yes, let’s dance, under a star filled sky, while a bonfire lights the shadows aound us. Used to do that many years ago, and miss it now. Loved the smell of woodsmoke in my clothes the next morning. Thank you Annell for your support and encouragement, and the long talks on the phone,


  4. Just perfect for the turn of the year.
    I’m back blogging now with a new website. As yet, WI has my link in moderation, so I’ll give it here:
    Calmed Embark

    • 1sojournal says:

      Good to see you back and I like your new website. As always you make me think. Thanks for your kind words, and hope your new year treats you with the respect you so deserve,


  5. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, love this and I am dancing now. I always enter a new year with optimism.
    I hope this year brings you all your heart desires. I am so glad to have met you 🙂

    • 1sojournal says:

      The feeling is mutual Pamela. You are one of the poets I mentioned in the essay. I usually enter a new year with at least a bit of hope. But, this year is different in so many ways, its hard to explain. Mainly, I think, because the changes are far more internal than otherwise. I can actually feel a lift and lightness. And am enjoying it immensely. And I hope the new year is both kind and generous to you and yours,


  6. I’m definitely up for a dance 😉 Enjoyed reading this and wish you all the best for 2011 🙂

    • 1sojournal says:

      Then we shall dance, on paper, through cyber space. I rather like that image. Glad you enjoyed and the very best to you as well, Flying Monkey.


  7. Irene says:

    We’re embarking on a grand adventure into becoming who we are. Which is never static and yet is also the same. Thanks for your philosophical prose Elizabeth. I like that as blog poets we’re all flourishing.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Irene, maybe that’s a part of the lightness I feel. I sense that flourishing all around me and in others. Certainly in your own person. And I like the idea of a grand adventure, especially with good friends who just happen to be poets. Thank you much for dropping in and hope to see a lot more of you through the New Year,


  8. Elizabeth, I loved your “year in mental pictures, ” and I do believe the best is yet to come. Mending fractured relationships is the toughest of all, and your ability to rebuild those bridges says a lot about you as a person.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Happy New Year, Amy

  9. Mary says:

    As each year begins, we never know where it will lead us. As always, I am sure the journey will take us along unexpected routes. I have learned that we never really can predict what will happen in a given year. For better or for worse, life happens…. I am pleased as well to be part of the community of writers you spoke about and pleased to be your friend. Your words so often inspire me, are always from the heart. Thank you for that…my dancing shoes are ready!

    • 1sojournal says:

      And I hope they are red ones, lol. We have no guarantees, and maybe that’s a good thing because it allows us to cherish the present moment more deeply. And you, my friend, deserve some warm sunshine and laughter. The best to you in the coming days, you did say somewhere near the end of January, didn’t you? Enjoy them when they arrive,


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